Chest Drainage: What It Is?

Chest drainage reduces the buildup of fluid in the pleural space surrounding the lungs. Chest tubes are inserted through an incision in the chest wall to remove fluid, blood, and other materials that can accumulate inside the chest cavity.

Chest drainage is a medical procedure in which a tube is inserted into the chest cavity to remove fluid or air. The procedure is also known as thoracostomy or thoracotomy. Chest drainage can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including pneumonia, emphysema, and pleural effusion.

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A chest tube is a hollow, plastic tube that is inserted into the chest cavity through a small incision in the chest wall. The tube drains excess fluid and air from around the lungs. Chest tubes are often used after surgery to treat conditions such as pneumothorax, hemothorax, or mediastinal empyema.

The insertion of a chest tube is a relatively simple procedure that can be performed in an outpatient setting. However, it is important to have the procedure done by a trained medical professional. Complications from chest tube surgery are rare but can include infection, bleeding, and damage to the lungs or other surrounding structures.

During the procedure, you will lie on your back on an operating table. Your surgeon will make a small incision in your side and insert the chest tube through the opening. The tube will be passed through the space between your ribs and into the pleural space. Once the tube is in place, it will be connected to a suction device or water seal chamber. This will allow any air or fluid to be removed from around your lungs.