Chest tube insertion


A chest tube insertion is a procedure to place a flexible, hollow drainage tube into the chest in order to remove an abnormal collection of air or fluid from the pleural space (located between the inner and outer lining of the lung).


Chest tube insertions are usually performed as an emergency procedure. Chest tubes are used to treat conditions that can cause the lung to collapse, which occurs because blood or air in the pleural space can hamper the ability of a patient to breath.

There are four common conditions than can require surgical chest tube insertion, including:


There is no available data concerning the demographics of chest tube insertion since this is a common procedure performed in emergency rooms and surgical departments. However, pneumothorax seems to occur most often in males 25–40 years of age.


The point of insertion in the chest most commonly occurs on the side (lateral thorax), at a line drawn from the armpit (anterior axillary line) to the side (lateral) of the nipple in males, or to the side (about 2 in [5 cm]) above the sternoxiphoid junction (lower junction of the sternum, or chest bone) in females. The skin is sterilized with antiseptic solution covering a wide area, and local anesthesia is administered to minimize discomfort. At the rib chosen for insertion, the skin over the rib is anesthetized with lidocaine (a local chemical anesthetic agent) using a 10-cc syringe and 25-gauge needle. At the rib below the rib chosen for pleural insertion, the tissues, muscles, bone, and lining covering the lung are also anesthetized using a 22-gauge needle.

All health-care providers will take precautions to keep the procedure sterile, including the usage of sterile gown, facemask, and eye protection. All equipment must be sterile as well and universal precautions are followed for blood and body fluids. Chest tube size is selected depending on the problem; an 18–20 F(rench) catheter is used for pneumothorax, a 32–26 F catheter for hemothorax, and trauma patients usually require a 38–40 F catheter size; children generally require smaller tube sizes.

The patient's arm is placed over the head with a restraint on the affected side. For an insertion line down the armpit (axillary line insertion), the patient's head is elevated from the bed 30–60°. Using the anesthetic needle and syringe, the physician will insert a needle (aspirate) into the pleural cavity to check for the presence of air or fluid. Then, an incision is made and a clamp is used to open the pleural cavity. At this stage, either air or fluid will rush out when the pleural cavity is opened. The chest tube is positioned for insertion with a clamp and attached to the suction-drain system. A silk suture is used to hold the tube firmly in place. The area is wrapped and an x ray is taken to visualize the status of the tube placement.


The diagnosis for chest tube insertion depends on the primary cause of fluid or air in the pleural cavity. For malignancy (cancer)-causing pleural effusion (fluid in the pleural space filled with malignant cells), the diagnosis can be established with positive cytopathology (cancer cell visualization and analysis) and a chest x ray that shows fluid accumulation.

The typical diagnostic signs and symptoms of empyema (lung infection) include fever, cough, and sputum discharge as well as the development of pleural effusion (causing chest pain and shortness of breath). This type of lung infection can progress to systemic disease with such signs as weakness, and loss of appetite (anorexia). Chest x rays can readily allow the clinician to view the pleural effusion and can also help to detect pneumothorax, since there is visual proof in the displacement of the tissues covering the lungs as a result of air in the pleural cavity. Additionally, during physical examinations, people with pnemothorax have diminished breath sounds, hyperesonance on percussion (a highly resonating sound when the physician taps gently on a patient's back), and diminished ability to expand the chest. Computed axial tomography (CAT) scans can be used to visualize and analyze complicated cases that may require chest tube insertion.


The chest tube typically remains secure and in place until imaging studies such as x rays show that air or fluid has been removed from the pleural cavity. This removal of air or fluid will allow the affected lung to fully re-expand, allowing for adequate or improved breathing. After chest tube insertion, the patient will stay in the hospital until the tube is removed. It is common to expect complete recovery from chest tube insertion and removal. During the stay, the medical and nursing staff will carefully and periodically monitor the chest tube for air leaks or if the patient is having breathing difficulties. Deep breathing and coughing after insertion can help with drainage and lung re-expansion.

Aftercare should also include chest tube removal and follow-up care. The patient is placed in the same position in which the tube was inserted. Using precautions to maintain a sterile field, the suture holding the tube in place is loosened and the chest is prepared for tying the insertion-point wound. The chest tube is then clamped to disconnect the suction system. At this point, the patient will be asked to hold his or her breath, and the clinician will remove the tube with a swift motion. After the suture is tied, dressing (gauze with antibiotic ointment) and tape is securely applied to close the wound. A chest x ray should be repeated soon after tube removal and, within 48 hours, a routine wound care clinic follow-up is advised to remove the dressing and to further assess the patient's medical status and condition.


Although chest tube insertion is a commonly used as a therapeutic measure, there are several complications that can develop, including:

Normal results

Chest tube insertion is a commonly used procedure, and it is typical for patients to recover fully from insertion and removal. If no complications develop, the procedure can relieve air or fluid accumulation in the pleural cavity that caused breathing impairment. Breathing is usually improved, and follow-up within the immediate 48 hours after hospital discharge is advised so that the patient can be further assessed with x rays and in the wound care clinic.

Morbidity and mortality rates

Mortality and morbidity for chest tube insertion is not strongly associated with the procedure itself. The primary cause responsible for fluid or air accumulation in the pleural cavity is related to continued illness and outcome such as pleural effusions caused by cancer (malignant pleural effusions). Cancer, and not the insertion of a chest tube, determines a patient's sickness and outcome. Chest tube insertion may be problematic in persons affected with certain connective tissue diseases.


The diagnosis, indications, and procedure for chest tube insertion are specific and unambiguous. There is no other alternative to rapidly remove accumulation of fluid or air within the pleural cavity.



Pfenninger, John. Procedures for Primary Care Physicians, 1st Edition. St Louis: Mosby-Year Book, Inc., 1994.

Townsend, Courtney. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery, 16th Edition. St. Louis: W. B. Saunders Company, 2001.


American Thoracic Society Homepage. .

Laith Farid Gulli, MD Nicole Mallory, MS, PA-C Alfredo Mori, MBBS


The procedure is simple and widely utilized. Chest tube insertion is performed in a hospital, usually in the emergency department by an emergency room doctor, resident-in-training, or medical house officer. The medical and nursing team will monitor the patient at the hospital until the tube is removed.


User Contributions:

CordiallY,i need know,after care,after 48 hours...Is necesary thoracis roentgen before remove It?
i have read tis article . it is simple and easy to understand for the new learners.
I recently had a chest tube put in due to surgical error, but for a while now since it was removed, I have had dizzy spells, and walking up the stairs I am short of breath, and trouble sleeping I was trying to give it time to heal, but it doesn't seem to be getting better. Any suggestions?
Patricia Goodnight
I have had a lung pleura drain for the last 15months due to cancer and fluid buildup. We have drained every day until last week. For four days now, I have bled through foam pad and gauze. It is not painful, just worrisome. What should I tell my oncologist and surgeon who implanted the drain for me? Should I worry?
IF accidenetly the outer tip of the tube gets contaminated, is it essential to replace or do somethin else. Please help asap. Thanks
how much drainage is needed for a chest tube to be removed
I got pnemonia in both lungs in the middle of sept.i was on life support for 7 days total of 3 chest tubes inserted from sept-end i get short of breath headaches weak tired and feel like sleeping alot have some good days but then i start thinking back trying to figure out what happened? and i feel this a side affect? or after affect?
I have a question in regard condition after the removal of a chest tube. My brother was admitted on Valentine's day with a collapsed lung and a chest tube was inserted without problem. After a 2 day stay in the hospital, the tube was removed and he was discharged 4 hours after the removal and an additional X-ray. He is now home and experiences the release of air from the wound when he has to cough. Is it normal for a patient to experience this and/or should we contact his medical doctor? The wound still have the dressing in place from his discharge today, so I do not think any air is re-entering his chest cavity.

Thank you
On the 25th of january I had a chest drain, my right lung was completely full of blood due to fractured ribs. Three weeks on after care Ive received and many x-rays my lung is working again but x-rays still show blood in the lung. Ive been told if I get sort of breath again they may need to chest drain again. Do i equiry my own doctor about this. many thanks.
Hey what should a lpn do in the event the client he/she is caring for pulls out the chest tube.What would be the next step after immediately applying a sterile gauze over the site.Please help
How long is it before the pain from chest drains stops. I am now 5 weeks after surgery for removal of a section of lung after being diagnosed with lung cancer ands till get tingling and stinging.
why the patient have to breath out when perform the removal of the chest tube ?
I have chest pain following the removal of a chest tube for spontaneous pneumothorax. I am concerned there may have been side effects even though I have had a CT scan and chest xray following discharge from the hospital. What should I be concerned about?
I have had a chest drain for removal of 2000mls of plural effusion which occured over a 5 week period following fractured ribs. It is now 4 weeks since discharge from hospital. I am still experiencing quite a bit of pain, is this normal and when can I expect to recover completely.
these facts r very knowledgeable and educative.very helpful
i want to know that why it is inserted between only 16 to 18 ribs ?
and also why pneumothorax occurs more in tall and thin peoples than others?
please send me its answer soon.
ive been recently released from hospital after having spontaneous pneumothorax and ive been getting nausea, tired spells,just feeling completly "off". im wondering if this is normal and will pass after recovery or is it something more serious?... I am also wondering if spontaneous pneumothorax is a common sign of having marfans syndrome? a genetic disease. if you can please get back to me as soon as possible would be great.

When u have a patient with plenty fluid or gas (450ml ), becareful not to attempt draining it all at once. Also ensure that there's a very reliable and large drip line set for the patient to rush in fluid (into the veins) if the procedure is complicated. At most allow about 200ml of fluid to flow out gradually at once, clamp the draining tube and let out more fluid in about 30min to an hour.
Falure to observe this two precautions may result in a shocked or sometimes dead patient. I had a woman with over 3500ml in the right side of the chest yesterday. Though she was deadly breatless as a result of this, yet we had to balance between the benefits of respiratory relief and dangers of cardivascular collapse. She is happy on the ward now.
HOW LONG should the chesttube stayin if your the fluids from your left lung is fully drained?
Also the doctor already put powder to seal it up,during this should you be on any antiobiotics?
Also havbing the chesttube in place for some days can you get an infeetion from this tube in you with nothing draining out?
nice research, really im enjoy in your lovely subject of this research.
just had explority opp for shortness of breathe had chest drain removed stil in severe discumfort and shortness of breathe how long does this last and how quick can i get back to work
how many cest tubes are placed in patient after removal of a lung?
Blanca Robles
My brother got shoot and one of his lungs get hurt, he is under chest tube treatment, can you tell me about how long can he be out of the hospital aproximatly, he is responding very well to the treatment and getting better.
I had a pneumothorax four years ago. The surgery was done by the wrong type of Doctor. If this happens to you demand that they use a Doctor who specializes in this type of surgery. I have been fighting with my Doctor over pain medication from the get go and still we do not see eye to eye. My last resort after trying everything alse s a nerve block which involves an injection in my back. This has been a living hell and I woud not wish it on anyone. Had some luck with clonazapam. Becuase it keeps you calm it helps in controlling a bit of the pain but not much. There hasn't been enough research done on this hence the pain after the fact. Hard plastic tubes shoved into your body can never be a good approach. A sfoter type of tube would be a good start.
Whatever you do do not let your Doctor bully you around for pain medication. No one deserves to live in pain. It has wrecked four years of my life and I am still fighting to find a way to eradicate what I live with everyday. Stay positive.
This is an excellent article! Very well explained, simply stated, and easy to follow and understand. Thank for writing this!
How long after a chest drain is removed should a post-drain-removal chest x-ray be taken?
Dear sir, i face this problem as on 1/11/2011 and reson is fall down from height and my right side four rib were fracture and doctor condcut hemothorax and remove blood from my lung area but now when i perform prayer and walk with small speed i feel pain my question is i did not feel pain in my fracture area but i feel pain down side of cuting point which conduct for hemothorax purpose please i thing may be some blood will remain in that area if some blood will be there what wil be side effects of this one please inform me i will be very thankful to you for this regards.
I was admitted to hospital 2yrs ago with severe breathing difficulties, pain, nausea, headaches & extreme fatigue. I had been feeling unwell for about 3 days, thought i had caught bug from my daughter, but started deteriorating rapidly. Was diagnosed with pneumonia, septicemia. X-ray showed some pleural fluid so started on antibiotics for 3 days with no effect. Scan showed i had bilateral empyemas and a lot pleural fluid in both sides, had a chest drain inserted in rhs a few days after Christmas 2009, other side was drained using a needle. I was in hopsital for a mnth & on antibiotics for 6mnths. Im still having pain esp wen i stretch or yawn under my ribcage, doctor said he couldnt do anything for it!! Xray showed black shadow, which my doc said could be part of my lung collapsed or just damage to lung!!! Surely I shouldnt be feeling this pain after 2years and what kind of follow up could i get to find cause of pain? I feel so badly let down by treatment i had. Nurses were also reluctant to give me pain relief even tho i was written up for morphine. I found the whole thing a nightmare and still do. I just pray no-one else has to suffer what i endured throughout that time, if i wasnt so weak and in complete agony i would never have allowed myself to be treated so poorly!!
I had breast implants put in 2010 and the surgen cut in to my pleural cavity , it is very pain ful fill the surgen was responable for this ,I did not feel pain much the last year but now I do and it is bad is this surgen responable to fix this please let me know thank you I am not rich and have been saving mony for breast inplants for over 20 years could you please let me know what I can do about this surgen thank you
i recently had a spontaneous lung collapse. I was put to sleep during the insertion of the chest tube. When i woke i was covered in blood on the right side of my body, and was being rushed to another hospitals ICU. Apparently while inserting the chest tube an artery was cut which filled my chest cavity, and lung full of blood. My question is, is this a common occurance or a mistake made by the doctor?
Jacki Scates
I had a nodule removed from my left lung on Sept. 7th, 2011. Today 1/15/12 I still have considerable pain in my upper left lung area. It feels like burning and pinching. I don't have an appetite and I'm loosing weight. I have dull ache in my upper abdomen. I also have severe sweating and flushing in my face. I went to a pain clinic just last week and had an injection in the pain area as a nerve block. I still have the pain. I was wishing by this time I would be off all pain medications. I have the feeling something serious is going on but don't know what it could be. Do you have any suggestions or is this normal.
Mdm Chan
I had 4 chest tubes insertion ie chest pleural tube. Two pleural/drainage tubes at upper and lower lungs were also in place (apical and basil tubes). 6x5x4.5cm mediastinal abscess in right paratracheal location with mediastinitis and pneumomediastinum tracking to the lower neck. Loculated right pleural effusion causing mediastinal shift associated with collapsed right lower lobe and partial collapse of right upper and middle lobes. Now, after 2months, the pain is still unbearable. I was given painkillers such as panadol,panadeine tablets and oxynorm capsules and neurobion tablets for 30 days.
What is the next step shldbe taken? Any other medications?
sujud zainur rosyid
any different technic in your description about point insertion of the chest tube, in my place the point is anterior of mid axillary lines on 5th intercostalis space. because on that site we know the name of safty triangle (auscultatory triangle, and the musculatoric on that site mare thin so the technic insertion more eazy and the patient less in pain. thank
My lung collapsed and I was taken to emergency. They put a chest tube in and broke an artery that made me bleed more than what I should, they had to give me back 6 units of blood. I was wondering if this was a malpractice or a common mistake that can be acceptable. I will appreciate your comments about it.
F. H
If patient on ventilator and has bilateral chest tubes is it possible to remove tubes and chest x rays lung expanded and look normal or must kept until remove pt from ventilator thank
I had a spontaneous pneumo due to a bleb. Had a CT placed in er on my left side and had horrible immediate pain requiring the CT to be pulled. They then placed a second tube left subclavian area still had horrible stabbing pain, they took this ct out in Cat scan and placed a 3rd CT on day 3below the 2nd . The 3rd CT was the one that I had least amount of pain from but still more pain then the doctors or nurses thought I should have, Went home with CT on day 5 lung was still collapsed. Came back 1 week later and had surgery. I have pain and numbness surrounding the chest tube sites . And get chest pain like I am having a heart attack if I wear a bra or have the seat belt across me.Is this normal??? I Have Horner's Syndrome as a result of the surg and my pain doc has given me the dx of RSD, Is this normal? Could the RSD have been caused by the multiple Chest tubes of the surgery?
is it ok when the chest tube comes out and there is still air in the pleural space ?
23-1-13 I hade a chest tube for a spontanios (Bleb)
I still have pain in my back and rib cage, is this normal and
Is there something I can do to ease the pain
Every now and then I feel like not getting air is this the result after the chest tube, please give me a selution.
Thank you
Had chest tubes put in 01/13 for a week because of complications from pneumonia. They removed the tubes and said everything was okay, but 3 months I still have a softball size bump on my side where the tubes were. The doc said it may go down or I might have it forever.
Can you tell me what it might be and is it something that may go down in time or with surgery ?
Hello, I need to know about how long the pain should last at site of the chest tube insertion after it was removed, it has been 1wk so far. The pain worse when I turn my head to the right and my left arm extended out. The lung had started to collapse due to a fall off of a ladder, my feet was about 8-9ft up on the ladder and top slipped out to the left and I landed on the ladder on my right back side,it brought my shoulders closer together in front of me and caused my sternum and under my left shoulder blade and neck to be very painful. I drove myself about 50 miles to emergency room to get an X-ray for fractured or broken ribs, nothing broken or cracked. They sent me on my way,but had to go back because my neck and left arm started to swell,sounded like rice crispies when touched. All of that pain has pretty much gone away. The accident was June 21 and the tube was in for 2wks, but pain from the tube Site and left armpit area is still very painful. How long should this last? I need to get back to work. Is there an exercise,or stretching that I could do, or do I have to just wait for it to go away. Please I need some help with this. Thank you so very much for your time. Barry
I M Scared had a chest tube insertion for fluid in Nov of this year, going to the doctors office tomorrow and he is going to remove it, he told me to take two pain pills before I go see him. can anyone tell me, if this will really hurt.
Daniel b
I had a punctured lung and both blood and air was removed using a chest stain, all went well but but now when I raise my arm a hard lump comes through. Is this to expected and will it go?!
Jose o
I just had my tube removed i can feel and hear alot of gushing from the hole when i b reath or cough, is this normal
About 1 week after chest tube was taken out there is foamy looking blood draining out. What could that be indicative of? She is in considerable pain.
Hi i have a qustion my father had surgery just twenty days before he had a lungs cancer.
We are stil in hospetal becouse of chest tube drain,
The tube which is insert on right side there is air lesk and fluid continue we are wondering what to do now could you plz tell me how we can control this air leak and fluid.
question: after insertion of the chest tube what should be the position of the tube in xray to ensure its properly placed?
On a 1-10 scale how much does taking the tube out hurt I'm 13 and am getting one for a back surgery
Dear Doctor,
I got right lower lobectomy surgery on Dec. 11, 2014 after surgery stayed in hospital
12 days & removed drained pipes I was discharged
What i feeli g is that some inside in my body which is stucking some
and giving pain as well on the right side.
please advise me what should I do.
thank you
Syed Mujeebullah
Dear Doctor,
I got right lower lobectomy surgery on Dec. 11, 2014 after surgery stayed in hospital
12 days & removed drained pipes I was discharged
What i feeli g is that some inside in my body which is stucking some
and giving pain as well on the right side.
please advise me what should I do.
thank you
Syed Mujeebullah
This article is very easy to follow and it is nice to know exactly what the surgery entails. I recently had a chest tube inserted in my chest above my left breast to treat a pneumothorax that was caused by a trigger point injection to my back...they punctured my lung with the needle! I had the chest tube in for 4 days and on the 4th day when they removed it I wasn't given pain meds and I didn't feel much at all. And after the removal my chest pain went away. I luckily had very good doctors. This was about a month and a half ago but I'm still nervous about my lung and I want to know exactly how much it's healed. I was prescribed clonazepam to help with my anxieties. Every little pain I feel in that region makes me nervous. And I'm an occasional smoker and I would like to get my scuba diving license and I just feel upset and scared about these things now that this has happened. How long will it take to fully heal? The doctors said to keep an easy for 2 weeks and not lift anything when I was released but does that mean I'd be fully healed after just the 2 weeks?
Hi, I had a chest tube for 5 days, removed on friday, but now I keep getting dizzy and nautious, I have slight difficulty breathing, should I go back to hospitala, or try and see if it will run it's course and get better
Thank you
I am 30 years old and just had 3 chest tubes and decordication due to a right empyema. 2 of the 3 tubes were removed while I was in the hospital but I was surprisingly released on oral antibiotics with one chest tube still in place. It is the most painful and uncomfortable thing I have ever endured in my entire life. The site is helpful but if anyone has any advice as to how to deal w/my pain...I would greatly appreciate it!
Mike Sterling
Asesthesiologist performed chest tube insertion (his first). Is that normal. Seems like something a doctor should do in operating room. It's quite painful.
My infant son had two Chest tubes place on his right side and now two and a half months later he has two broken ribs on the right side that I've been healing for over a month and I never knew and I need to know if the chest tube placement could have a weakend that side of his body to the extent that a simple hug or a tight squeeze would have caused his ribs to break or fracture
Good article i read sir/madam
My son age 10 months old . One month back he got heart surgery.we went home after discharge.After 20 days he takes speed breath.we consult a doctor , he suggest us it is emergency go and ask them where operated him.we come back agin and told the doctors who operated the baby about situation. They take him ccu and checked him and insertion a chest tube ,right now we in hospital we are staying from 3 weeks but tube isnot removed, drain is coming day by day it is decreasing sometime increaseing. Please give me sugesstion what is the position of my baby and how many days we need to stay in hospital sir/madam
My grandma had a chest tube put in and the other day it came out. The nurses said she didn't need to come back in for after care but I would think she definetly needs after care the wound is oozing and now a smell she needs to go back right?
I had mine done on july 27 & todays november 17 i still get sting & pain from the area of the tube, short of breath & headaces & speech problems .why is it that it still occurs? Im 16 years old of the time from a stabbing wound.
Patrick P. Boily
I have a small drain tube from my arm pit to my right lung area. It drains water that is around the lung to a small plastic canister taped to the belt area. I have been discharge from the hospital about 3 months ago. I use a syringe to empty the small canister once a week. A nurse comes to my house and change the dressing once a week.
Is there a time limit for the tube to stay there or does it have to come out even if there is a small quantity of water coming out every week?
Thank you for the info that some one can give me.
I had spontaneous tension pnumorhorax one month ago and had to put chest tube twice then i was given a blood patch now i am experiencing chest,rib tenderness from the last one week is it effect of chest tube or some else
I had my left lung drained when I had phenomena 3 months ago. Ever since I have discomfort from my diaphragm when I take a deep breath or yawn.. If i exercise and get breathing hard it seems to temporarily better. I have addresses this to my Dr but am told not to worry it will get better. I am the worry queen so naturally I am concerned. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks
if drain pipes have been inserted and was bended inside can that damage the lungs... the air was going into patients body then the lungs both collapsed... they inserted the drain pipes due to a injury and had internal bleeding on one side and then both lungs collapsed? thx
I fell off a ladder, broke two ribs on the side, one in the back. Also had a partially collapsed lung. Had plate surgery on the two side ribs. After 4 weeks out of the hospital, I had a cat scan done since I was complaining of pain. I had to go to E.R. for partially collapsed lung again. Small tube was inserted and went home. Two days later, went to get tube removed but the lung was still partially collapsing. Had to have another tube inserted (bigger one) and was in hospital for 5 days. Went back a week later and x-rays showed lung still good. It's been 4 weeks and my chest (right by sternum) still hurts to the touch from the tube. The tube was inserted about 3" down from my armpit. When I take deep breaths, feels like liquid in the lung. I'm still short of breath. Are these normal symptoms or should I go see another doc? Current doc says this is normal but he also said that last time. Thad for your help.
Hanson this Razak
I had a chest drain after I had an accident with my moto bike last month resulting from a fractured rib and was discharged after ten days when finally my docter said there are no more drains coming and that the tube was removed successful. Now two weeks at home find it very difficult to move around when on bed and also have unbearable pains around the featured area and can not walk straight up and if even I try it comes with more pains.please what should I do and after how many month can I go back to my body building activities. Reply needed assp thanks Hanson
My dad was diagnosed with stage IV plural effusion lung cancer. He has had a catheter placed in his chest to drain the fluid. He was told there are liaisons on his ribs. He has been going to chemo but is still in pain. The pain is in his arm, but not one doctor has told him why their is pain in his arm. Is this from the chest tube or could it be from the liaisons on his ribs or nerve damage from the drain? Any option is appreciated, seeing him in so much pain is horrible!
Roseann davis
My ex husband had scaring on right lung and nodular non cancerous they did biopsy had cut him open laposcopy didnt work surgeon says had a collapsed lung ever since aug 2016 till now oct 2016 with tube in him how long does this take to heal. The surgeon send him home with the tube told him to go to a diffrent hospital no more she can do .the tube was replaced 3 times due to air getting between the space when or will this ever heal.hes thin man 60 years old i think this surgeon didnt do her part .he still has the tube wont heal the collapse lung due to the surgeon with her procedure. Any help here.never told him to come back to look at it booted him out the door no patches to change it no syringes how long does this take to heal to get the lung tube out.this is rediculous hes in pain too
Jay F
My 52 yr old gf had CABG surgery 12/28/16 and had a chest tube. The tube remained in for 4 days, at which time it was removed, she was x-rayed, and released. She's now been home 9 days and is experiencing pain on her side, where she felt it when she had the tube in. Her pain was bothering her so much, I took her to the ER where they said everything looked normal but she did have some air left in her lung cavity. 5 days later, she is still complaining of pain in the same area. Is this normal? She has an appointment with the surgeon a week from today. I think it's normal but I'm no surgeon. Please respond.
My brother in law had a severe cough and went to the ER...They stated he had a infection in the lung and they stated he needed his lung drained...He had two heart attacks during the procedure and died...what could have gone wrong?
Rena: you really do need to go to speak to the hospital and find out what happened. This could be anything, and I'm afraid that the answers you need are with the hospital that treated your brother in law. If there is a patient liaison service at the hospital get in touch with them if you haven't already so that you might come some way to finding out some answers. I'm sorry to hear about your sudden loss, it must've come as quite a shock.
Jay: Having pain in the side where the chest drains were inserted is perfectly normal so long as it does not worsen, and breathing isn't laboured. It is perfectly normal to have a 'lump' where the tissues that were disrupted by a chest drain are healing, and these may have areas of hyper-sensitivity and numbness. If her breathing worsens, or she is wheezy, ask for another opinion. I hope the appointment with the surgeon got things straightened out.
T cook
I was sent home from v a hosp with tube still in. Lung collapsed again and almost died,
I had needle biopsy on right lung ,4 years ago I had mascetomy of right breast ,.,the doctor made an error on the last needle insertion and punchered my lung inserted a lung tube Removed it too soon I had antbotic shot into the tube I was awake it was worse pain ever. Lasted 2days had morifine And another tube inserted. When it was removed went toconvelestant home 3 ,months home now and have to be on oxygen 24/7 still need walker. All because of biopsy failure. Also have severe pain in knees and legs I am not able to do much very weak still it's been 6 weeks doc said he was sorry he thought he was right on target
My life will never be the same I do physical therapy in home but I do not get better or stronger has anyone have any advice
I had open heart surgery for a mitral valve repair last August. I have no problems but I have developed a small pocket where the drainage tube was removed from. It. is soft to push doesn't hurt. Is this norma. I see my primary physician in May. Any advice? Thank you.
Lynne Barker
I have Stage 4 lung cancer and had a pleural effusion 11/4/16 and had a chest tube put in under my right arm. After it drained for about five days they put in another in my back and took out the original. I still have pain from the original tube. It hurts when I sneeze or take a deep breath. I tell the doctor when I go for chemo but they think nothing of it. Is this common? It's been 4 months.
After removal of icd drained tube should plueral effusion or fluid is permanently removed or cancer cells is removed after chemo at the age of 70 ??
My prayers are with everyone we all need answers. My life is changed forever I am sorry I ever trusted the doctors who ordered biopsy it should never should have been done
Mary Bunch
I had lung surgery approx a month ago and had a chest tube. How long will it be or is it normal for my ribs to hurt this long afterwards? Where the tube was put in doesn't hurt at all just my ribs.
Pat smith
In year 2016 I had a pacemaker /defibrillator implanted which resulted in a herniated lung. My left breast was cut half circle and a drainage tube inserted under neath neat rib .I have numb ness and a lot of pain in my left breast two years later what's wrong I don't know what to do. I've lost faith in my doctors. Any advice would be appreciated.
My father had a tube inserted on his back to remove one litre of water every 2 days, he’s 89 yrs old! Lately he said it feels like someone is stabbing him and feels it around mid way inside the tube? There is no infection and had X-ray and showed everything is normal. Do you have any idea? If someone had that same pain
Linda Mansfield
My lung collapsed due to a biopsy being performed on my right lung, no anestegia was used the doctor literally slammed the tubed through my chest and kept pushing about 4 times, it was also inserted thru my breast, the pain was unbearable, is this normal procedure when I was not in discomfort or could a sedative been used?
Why does my chest feel real pimched like level 9 pain when they turn machine on but wen its off i have no paim im here fpr lung collapse
I had a plueral effusion three months ago, the fluid was taken out by chest tube almost of 5 litres 3 months, and now it has been 3 months but now i am feeling pain in that area where the chest tube was inserted, so what should I do?
Amy Vincent
My son had a spontaneous pneumothorax in March of 2019. Had tube inserted for 5 days to re inflation of lung. He now has seizures since the chest tube. Anyone else experience this
I had my left lung collapse on 08/04/19. The put a drain in on my chest, top of my left breast not too far from my left shoulder. Immediately I felt as if I had been shot in the shoulder. I struggled with this SEVERE pain through the whole process of getting the drain removed. After the removal the pain was still there. Not as severe, but still VERY painful. I was sent to PT. Things calmed down some. Enough where I thought I could live with it...until I went back to work in November. The pain is back as it was on day 1. I went to the SAME ER , thinking they would have my records and know. But, oh no. They tell me I have a torn rotor cup? Okay but I can do some things with no pain(at that time) not to mention did absolutely nothing to injure myself? I also left with a referral to orthopedics. I saw the orthopedic Doctor Who thought I had a pinched nerve, finally I thought was getting somewhere he ordered an MRI and an EMG. I showed up for the MRI today for them to tell me it’s for my neck! To feel hope slipping away. I decided to do the MRI which I couldn’t make it through the pain from the vibration of the MRI. I am beside myself. Forever in pain
Hi guys I had a collapse lung and tube put in, it was removed 3weeks ago. There’s a pain periodically from point of entry moving towards heart. Suggestions? Experiences?

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