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Chest Tube/ Intercostal Drain

At Yashoda’s Centre for Lungs and Sleep Medicine, we offer advanced, minimally invasive diagnosis and treatment options for various disorders related to thoracic and pulmonary disease. Our experts at the center provide compassionate care for lung cancer, airway disease, and pleural effusions, and an advanced treatment approach for benign lung diseases like emphysema and asthma.

Our Unit of chest tube provides a wide range of diagnostic tests to both outpatients and inpatients referred to the service. The main tests involve assessing the lungs' size, how efficiently and effectively they exchange gases such as oxygen, and how fast they can blow the air out.

We use advanced technologies to diagnose lung disorders and treat them. We strive to provide the best care and services to our patients and help them improve their quality of life.

What is chest tube insertion?

A chest tube is also referred to as chest tube thoracostomy. This emergency procedure is utilized for draining air, blood, or fluid from the space surrounding your lungs, called the pleural space. Doctors also perform after surgery on organs or tissues in your chest cavity.

The surgeon inserts a hollow plastic tube between your ribs into the pleural space during chest tube insertion. The tube is inserted connected to a machine to help with the drainage. Until unless blood, fluid, or air is drained from your chest, the tube stays in its place.

Are you Eligible for Chest Tube/Intercostal Drain?

You may need a chest tube/intercostal drain if you have any of the following:

  • a collapsed lung
  • a lung infection
  • Bleeding around your lung after an injury or trauma
  • fluid buildup because of another medical condition
  • difficulty in breathing due to a buildup of fluid or air
  • surgery, especially heart, lung, or esophageal surgery

By inserting a chest tube in your chest, doctors can also determine other conditions such as internal injuries after lung damage or trauma.

What is the Procedure for Chest Tube/Intercostal Drain?

An intercostal drain is a flexible plastic tube that is inserted by the doctors through the chest wall into the pleural space. The chest tube is utilized to remove pneumothoraces or effusions from the intrathoracic space.

Preparation: Our pulmonary specialist will perform the chest tube insertion by preparing a large area on the side of your chest, from your armpit down to your abdomen, and across to your nipple. If necessary, any hair will be shaved from the site, and the area involved will be sterilized. The doctor may use an ultrasound to identify a good location for inserting the tube.

Anesthesia: To numb the area, the doctor may inject an anesthetic into your skin or vein. During chest insertion, anesthesia will help you make it more comfortable, which can be painful. If you had major heart or lung surgery, anesthesia will be provided to you to sleep before the chest tube is inserted.

Incision: The doctor may make a small incision using a scalpel between your ribs, near the chest's upper part. It depends on several reasons where the incision will be made, and a chest tube will be inserted.

Insertion: The doctor will guide the tube into your chest after gently opening the space into your chest. The doctor will stitch the intercostal drain in place to prevent it from moving. Over the infection site, a sterile bandage will be applied.

Drainage: To allow the air or fluid to flow out, the tube is then attached to a special one-way drainage system. This procedure prevents the fluid or air from flowing back into the chest cavity. During the course your chest tube is inside your chest, you will need to stay in the hospital.

Our doctors and nurses will continuously monitor your breathing and check for possible air leaks. It depends on a variety of conditions as to how long the chest tube is left inside the chest. It will mainly depend on the reason for the buildup of air or fluid. Also, lung cancers can result in re-accumulation. In these cases, doctors may leave the tubes in for a longer period.



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