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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  Neurosurgeon - Brain, spine, and peripheral nerve surgery
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My daughter has had an benign ependymoma removed. The spinal

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My daughter has had an benign ependymoma removed. The spinal canal repair has leaked after the op and also leaked again after the first repair which was a belt and braces job but no drain. She has just had another repair with a drain. What are the chances of success and what should she do if this doesnt work?


Ideally, when there is a lumbar drain in place (I'm assuming that is the type of drain you are talking about) -- this will help divert the spinal fluid into the drain, and take the pressure off of the healing wound.

And when the healing wound is sealed up enough, then the drain can be removed, which may be several days.

This often will help prevent leakage out of a healing wound, and as long as there are no other issues, this should have a good chance of success. If this doesn't work, then a longer period of drainage into the lumbar drain would be needed.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
How long can a drain be left in for , and if the procedure doesn't work first time, can it be repeated indefinitely. How many days does it usually take to get a wound to heal if the tissue is thin and stretched? Has the patient to stay in hospital throughout? How long is the danger period for a new leak after the drain is removed?

Well, a drain can be left in for several days, and longer, but this has to be balanced with the risk of infection which increases, the longer a drain is left in.

We have routinely left a drain in for a week to 10 days, without a significant increase in the infection rate.

The patient needs to stay in the hospital, to monitor the wound for leakage, as well as keep the drain sterile.

The wound typically will heal within several days to become watertight, and after that, theoretically the lumbar drain can be removed, though the wound should continue to be monitored.

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