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What is an accordion drain?

An accordion drain is a collection device connected to your drain that allows for continuous suction from your drain. It consists of a collection bag, where fluid will accumulate as it is being removed from your body and accordion-like pump. The pump, when compressed, allows for continuous suction.


Why do I have this type of drain?

You had a fluid collection in your body that required a drain to be placed.  The fluid aspirated was likely very thick and/or there was a large amount.   By having an accordion drain, it is able to produce greater suction to aspirate the fluid out. 

How does it work?

In order to maintain continuous suction from your drain, you’ll need to check the accordion pump periodically throughout the day and make sure that it is compressed (collapsed).  If it is expanded then it is no longer producing any suction.   To compress it, all you have to do is push down on top of the pump as seen in the picture.  You will notice that any fluid collected in the pump will go into the collection bag.  Make sure to record how much fluid is being collected daily.

How do I drain the bag?

Make sure your hands are thoroughly washed with soap and water before you empty the drain. If the collection bag is getting full you can empty it down the drain or toilet by turning the blue cap at the bottom of the bag.  This cap acts like a valve.  If you turn it one way, it opens up to let the fluid drain out.  Once the collection bag is emptied, don’t forget to turn the blue cap back to the original position to close it or fluid may leak!  

What happens if there is no fluid being produced?

First make sure that the accordion pump is being compressed and maintaining it’s compressed state for longer than an hour.   If it immediately fills up with air then there could be a malfunction in the drain or the collection system.   No need to panic.  Just contact your interventional radiologist’s office at (650)404-8445.  In most cases, if there is no fluid being produced and the pump is functioning properly, this is a good sign as the fluid collection may be resolved.

How do I move around with this accordion drain?

There should be a strap or a band that can be used to tie around your leg or belt-loop on your pants.  

Can I shower with this drain?

Yes, though make sure to find a secure way to hold it or put it so it isn’t pulling on the tube.  Make sure everything is dry after your shower.

What should I watch for?

If you develop severe pain, fevers  >102 F,  substantial bleeding or leakage at the drain site,  you should seek immediate medical attention at your closest emergency room.  If pain seems to be getting gradually worse, if you develop a low-grade fever or chills, or if the drain becomes dislodged, you can call us at (650) 404-8445 Monday thru Friday between 8am-5pm, or reach the on-call Interventional Radiologist by calling (408) 739-6000.

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