A chest tube is a tube made of plastic that drains fluid from the chest. The pleural space is the area between the lungs (the pleural space), that can become clogged with fluids or blood. This can lead to the collapse of the lung. The patient can still be asleep during surgery, or he can be placed with a chest tube at his bedside.

There are many sizes and shapes of chest tubes. They can vary in size depending on their purpose. Most chest tubes are connected to drainage systems which collect fluid and allow air to escape. You can also schedule an appointment for placing a thoracic drain tube via centese.com/thoracic-surgery after surgery.

You can either allow these systems to drain naturally or have suction applied. This procedure is designed to drain the pleural space. The fluid or air will be visible or felt by patients. Patients may often feel their collapsed lungs expanding again.

As with any surgery, bleeding and infection are the main risks associated with placing a chest tube. When placing a chest tube, doctors must be careful not to touch the blood vessels under the ribs. The chest tube usually stays in for a few days – during this time, you will remain in the hospital. Sometimes your drain will be attached to suction on the wall which may limit your movement away from your bed.