There’s no sugarcoating it: surgical drains are a necessary evil. In fact, Dr. Nelson Castillo, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Atlanta, admits, “They’re probably one of the most annoying things for patients in recovery.”

But if you’re considering any number of the most popular cosmetic procedures, you’re likely looking at a post-op period spent dealing with a drain or two. It’s a detail that can freak a lot of patients out (and one that doctors might mention as an afterthought because it’s so commonplace), but knowing what to expect ahead of time will make the recovery process that much more manageable.