If you’ve had a mastectomy, or if one (unfortunately) is in your future, you’ve probably heard or read about the dreaded drains. They are no fun. At all. Necessary evils, that’s what Jackson-Pratt drains are.
But we do and deal with what we must, right?
So, what’s the best way to manage those dreaded drains?
Full disclosure: Promedics Products, LLC sponsors my weekly email for which I am compensated. I am not being compensated for this review. I am sharing about the Prody™ Drainage Bulb Holder II, because it’s a great solution for managing the darn drains, and I want YOU to know about it.
As someone who’s had to deal with drain management not once but twice, the Prody™ Drainage Bulb Holder II is the best solution for drain management that I’ve come across.
Honestly, back in 2010 following my bilateral mastectomy, I cannot remember for sure what the hospital sent me home with. There was so much on my mind back then that I didn’t even think to look around for drain management options. I did get a prescription for a stretchy camisole that had drain pockets.
As I recall, the pockets in that camisole worked alright as a place to put the drains, but just alright. The camisole itself I liked a lot, and I kid you not, I still wear it pretty often because it feels really good offering me both comfort and support. (Yes, it’s lasted that long.)
Following my recent explant/DIEP flap surgery, once again, there were drains to contend with.
Lucky for me, (okay, nothing about this is lucky, but you know what I mean) I now knew about a better alternative for managing the four drains hanging out of me post surgery.
That better alternative is the Prody™ Drainage Bulb Holder II. The belt was developed by Mary Robinson Prody, a nurse who has spent much of her career in Home Health often working with patients who were struggling with their post-surgical drains.
Mary discovered many patients were sent home with little, sometimes nothing, to help them manage their post-surgical drains.
Mary shared this:
I would often turn into MacGyver, scouring their kitchen for a measuring device and then hand writing a drainage output record sheet. Most often patients were safety pinning the bulbs to their underwear, which sometimes led to painful pokes and/or accidental dislodging of the drain tubing.
I can report that the main method to secure drain bulbs is still a safety pin, which can lead to drain or tube puncturing AND increased infection risk. Other solutions include ineffective plastic clips that fall off when the drain becomes weighted and a multitude of make-shift methods such as: lanyards, pocketed clothing, a Home Depot cloth tool belt, shoe laces, fanny packs and the list goes on.
The struggle many patients were having with drain care inspired Mary to come up with the Prody™ Drainage Bulb Holder II and later, The Prody™ Drainage Bulb Holder II Kit.
Here are some reasons why I whole heartedly recommend the Prody™ Drainage Bulb Holder II:
1. The Prody™ Drainage Bulb Holder II was developed by a nurse with the knowledge and experience to meet the clinical needs as well as patient needs.
Both are equally important. We shouldn’t be sent home less prepared than we could be.
2. The patented fasteners are permanently attached at one end to the belt.
After you properly fasten the bulbs (super easy to do), those bulbs are securely attached. No more bulbs falling off those inadequate, plastic ring holder thingies. No more safety pin pokes. No more clunky metal clips.
3. The belt securely holds up to four drains.
The belt allows for secure attachment of up to four (that’s how many I had both times) drain bulbs and is discreetly worn under your clothing. At the same time, it allows for quick access and easy visibility to determine when you need to empty the bulbs.
4. Your movement is not as restricted.
You don’t worry so much when you feel confident that the drains are held securely in place. No one wants those tubes accidentally yanked out. Ouch!
5. The belt is perfect for bedtime. A necessity even.
Even if you choose a different option to wear for daytime, at night, this thoughtfully designed belt is a godsend, at least it was for me.
The garments with pockets work alright (I had such a garment), but at night when you’re sleeping (or trying to sleep), let’s face it, those bulbs can move around and even fall out of those garment pockets.
It was far less stressful for me when I’d wake up at night (which I did and often) and could immediately check on my drainage bulbs. I always knew they were held securely in place right there front and center. No fumbling. No panicky feeling. Whew! Hence, I might add, I was able to get a better night’s rest. So important!
6. The belt is reasonably priced.
I recommend having two belts. This way you can use one in the shower (If showering is allowed, of course) and then hang it up to dry. I tried a couple other recommended options for using in the shower, but the Drainage Bulb Holder II was by far my favorite. Find info about pricing here.
7. You have the option of getting one belt, two belts or the Drainage Bulb Holder II Kit, which includes two belts, measuring cups and a drainage output record sheet.
Post mastectomy, breast reconstruction and certain other surgeries, you must keep track and record the amount of fluid output from your JP drains. This is done by stripping the tubes feeding into them (something I’m sure many of you are quite familiar with), and then recording the results. (Just part of the fun in Cancer Land. Not!)
My hospital sent me home both times with the cups and output record sheets; yours may or may not. The Kit comes with two belts as well as everything else you need, so it’s an economical, efficient way to go. Again, having that spare belt comes in handy.
8. All the Promedics Products are universal in gender – medical white and the fasteners are NOT pink!
Mary shared that early on it was suggested she change the blue fasteners on the Prody™ Drainage Bulb Holder II to pink. She rejected that idea because men can and sometimes do get breast cancer too.
In addition to being the best solution out there for post-mastectomy drain care, the Prody™ Drainage Bulb Holder II is also intended for use following other surgical procedures that may (or may not) require drains.
These include abdominal surgeries such as colon, liver, renal and some hernias. Others include: thoracic surgeries, certain wound surgeries, orthopedic and organ transplants.
Plastic surgeries such as abdominoplasty, Tram Flap, DIEP Flap and implant/explant also generally require drains. And some GYN-type surgeries such as those for vaginal tumors and some C-sections require drains as well.
So, as you can see, there’s a lot of need. Mary’s mission is to get the products into as many hospitals, surgery centers and MD offices as possible so that patients are given them immediately post surgery and don’t have to spend time scouring the internet looking for solutions.
Currently, the Promedics Products are in over 250 national hospitals including MD Anderson, Cleveland Clinic, Stanford and Vanderbilt.
The product I personally used and that I’m focusing most on in this review is the Prody™ Drainage Bulb Holder II, however, another option is available that I wish I had also tried and that’s the Prody™ Abdominal Binder II with Drain Fasteners. (Of course, I would have only used it after my doctor’s approval.)
DIEP flap surgeries (and others) require that you wear a binder. (Yeah, because the fun never ends.) So this particular abdominal binder is another option for some.
The Prody™ Abdominal Binder II with Drain Fasteners (shown below) has the same patent-pending fasteners with all the same benefits of the Drainage Bulb Holder II. It’s a two-in-one deal. A binder that also doubles as a drainage bulb holder.
The above combo binder seems like a logical, convenient way to go again, pending your doctor’s approval, of course.
Mary knows what a dog and cat lover I am, so she also wanted me (and I want you) to know that unsolicited veterinary sales are now taking off because sometimes our furry dear ones need post-surgery drain management too. Yes, the drainage holder belts work for them too!
I loved hearing our pets’ post-surgical drain needs are being thought of too, don’t you?
So, those are just some of the reasons why I recommend the Prody™ Drainage Bulb Holder II, and why I’m proud of my partnership with Promedics Products, LLC.
The Prody™ Drainage Bulb Holder II is a thoughtfully designed product that will definitely help mastectomy (and other) patients better manage those dreaded drains.
If you or someone you care about faces surgery that will require JP drain care management, be sure to direct them to Mary’s site or this post.
I recently used the Prody™ Drainage Bulb Holder II for my post-DIEP surgery drain management and can honestly say, I loved it.
As much as you can love a drain bulb holder belt anyway!
If your surgery will require drains, you need this belt!
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