When Do You Need Surgical Chest Tube?

The chest tube is used to drain fluid, air, and blood from the pleural space, which surrounds your lungs. Chest tube insertion can also be called chest tube thoracostomy. This is usually an emergency procedure. It can also be performed after surgery on tissues or organs in the chest cavity.

A hollow plastic tube is placed between your ribs and into the pleural space during chest tube insertion. To aid in drainage, the tube can be connected to a machine. The tube will remain in place until fluid, blood, and air are drained from the chest. You can also read this article to know more about the surgical chest drainage system.

If you have any of these health problems, you will need a chest tube.

  • a collapsed lung
  • a lung infection
  • A trauma such as a car accident can cause bleeding around the lung.
  • Fluid buildup from another medical condition such as cancer or pneumonia
  • A buildup of fluids or air can cause breathing difficulties.
  • Surgery, particularly lung, heart, or esophageal

A chest tube can also be used to help diagnose lung damage and internal injuries following trauma.

Chest tube insertions are performed most often after surgery or in an emergency situation. There is usually no preparation required. If you are conscious, your doctor will ask you to consent to the procedure.