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What Are The Reasons For Opting For Placement Of Chest Tube?

Chest tube placement is a surgical procedure in which a tube is inserted into the chest to act as a drain. The chest tube drains blood, fluid, or air from the pleural space, the area between the inner and outer linings of the lung, allowing the lungs to fully expand. It can be performed either as an independent procedure or in conjunction with heart surgery.

Reasons for opting for chest drainage administration:

Chest tube placement, also called thoracostomy, is used to treat conditions that cause a lung to collapse. These conditions include:

  • Surgical complication
  • Traumatic injury to the chest
  • Pneumothorax, air leakage from the lung into the chest
  • Fluid buildup in the chest or pleural effusion
  • Hemothorax is an accumulation of blood in the pleural space
  • Infection or abscess
  • Heart failure
  • Emphysema or another disease
  • Cancer

Symptoms that may require chest tube placement:

  • Sharp chest pain made worse by deep breath or cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Fatigue after slight exertion
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Nasal flaring
  • Cyanosis, or bluish skin color

It is possible for a small pneumothorax to resolve on its own with rest and the administration of oxygen. It is also possible for a doctor to re-inflate the lung by extracting air from the area around the lung using a needle. In more serious cases, however, a chest tube placement will be necessary.