One of the biggest post-surgery complaints mastectomy patients often have is that having drains is a huge pain. These drains are thin plastic tubes connected directly into the body to allow any excess fluid to escape into small bulbs called drain bags. It’s a clever invention to keep incisions from becoming infected, but they’re also unwieldy and awkward. They can even be painful if they get caught on something and tug on your skin.
Companies are now making drain bag holders to help deal with this issue—but who wants to spend 15-plus dollars on something you’ll never wear or use again after a few days or weeks? So some mastectomy patients have devised their own necklaces, pockets, and other ways to hold their drain bags at little or no cost. And the one in this video is one of our favorites.
Below, Aniela McGuinness of the video blog My Breast Choice demonstrates how to make a super simple and inexpensive drain bag holder that’s customized to fit your body. You don’t even have to measure anything!
This option costs less than $5, and it won’t cost you anything at all if you happen to have the things you’ll need in the house already. If you’re a craft-lover, you probably do!
You’re going to need an old t-shirt you don’t mind cutting up, a pair of scissors, enough elastic to go around your waist (or wherever you want your drain bag holder to sit), velcro, push pins, and a sewing machine. Hand-sewing is definitely an option for those who don’t own a sewing machine.
Check out the video below to learn how to make your own drain bag holders and see how well they worked for Aniela after her mastectomy. This tutorial is going to save you a ton of discomfort!
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?