Hemovac, Home Care

A Hemovac is a round plastic drain that must stay compressed. The compression creates a gentle suction that removes excess fluid from a surgical wound. Patient wounds often generate excess fluid. Removing this fluid helps promote healing and decreases the risk of infection.


  • Keep the drain compressed at all times except while emptying it.

  • Keep the site where the drain enters the skin dry and covered with a dressing.

  • You may pin the drain to your clothing with a safety pin.

  • The first few days after surgery there may be a lot of fluid in the drain. Empty the drain whenever it becomes half full since the drain does not create enough suction if it's too full. Record the drainage amount as instructed by your caregiver.

  • If you see a clot in the drain, it is okay to leave the clot. However, if the hemovac does not appear to be draining, let your caregiver know.

  • Your caregiver will take the drain out when the drainage decreases.


  • Wash your hands.

  • Open the stopper to release suction. This will cause the hemovac to unfold and expand.

  • Hold the stopper out of the way. Do not touch the opening. Pour the drainage into the measuring cup that was given to you.

  • If a clot sticks to the opening, remove it with a sterile dressing.

  • To re-establish suction, squeeze both sides of the drain until it goes flat. Replace the stopper while you are squeezing the drain.

  • Write down the drainage amount.


  • The drain does not stay compressed, call your caregiver. Sometimes the drain moves out of the wound and does not allow the hemovac to stay compressed.

  • There is a lot more drainage than usual or it is bright red.

  • The hemovac insertion site becomes red, hot or swollen.

  • The hemovac insertion site is draining yellow fluid.

  • You develop a temperature of 102° F (38.9° C).

If you have any questions or concerns, call your caregiver.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.