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Self-removing passive drain to facilitate post-operative care via telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Ryan K. Orosco, MD, FACS
Ryan K. Orosco, MD, FACS
UC San Diego Health, Moore’s Cancer Center
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Background Telehealth post-operative visits are an attractive strategy to minimize exposure, especially during the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. The use of a surgical drain often prevents this minimal-exposure approach in that patients return to the outpatient clinic for drain removal. Methods and Results Following unilateral neck dissection, the customary closed-suction drain was replaced with a self-removing, passive drain dressing to facilitate same-day discharge and telehealth post-operative follow-up. The patient removed the dressing and drain at home during a telehealth visit on post-operative day four and she healed favorably without signs of infection or seroma. Conclusions When thoughtfully applied in the appropriate clinical context, small practice adaptations like this can facilitate telehealth solutions that diminish unnecessary exposure for patients, their caregivers, and healthcare staff.