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Melanoma: Drainage of fluid

After a sentinel node biopsy or a lymph node dissection operation, you may have a small tube in place (called a drain) to remove any fluid that builds up around the wound. The drain is connected to a small suction bottle that collects the fluid and will need to be emptied at home when it becomes full. When the drain is collecting less than 40ml on 2 consecutive days the drain will be removed by the clinic nurse. Often the wound is sutured using self dissolving sutures. Once the drain is removed sometimes the area will fill up with fluid again and may need to be aspirated either by the doctor or under ultrasound guidance.

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