Background: There is no common consensus as to how to secure a surgical drain, with many surgeons relying on anecdotal evidence. Accidental and early drain removal remains a common problem in modern day surgery. This raises the question as to whether fixation technique or suture material has any effect on the reliability and security of drain fixation.
Objectives: To assess whether fixation technique or suture selection has more impact on the security of drain fixation
Methods: A pork belly with skin was used to emulate human tissue. Through this a 14 gauge bellovac drain was placed using standard surgical technique. The drain was then secured using either a 3-0 or 0 Nylon suture. Three common drain fixation suture techniques were used for each suture material. The drain was then attached to a calibrated force meter and then pulled until the fixation failed. The peak force at which the fixation failed was measured in Newtons, and it was recorded whether the suture, or knot had failed first.
Findings: For the three techniques using 3-0 Nylon, the averages were 23.8N, 24.1N, 22N. The averages for the 0 Nylon was 51.3N, 42.5N and 51.3N. In all cases the suture material failed before the surgical knot.
Conclusions: The data collected did not show a significant difference between surgical knot choices but do indicate that a stronger suture material is more likely to provide a more secure drain fixation