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In most trauma-related deaths, thoracic injuries are primarily responsible for 25% of cases and are a major contributing factor in up to 75% of them. However, most thoracic injuries can be effectively treated with tube thoracostomy or a simple chest tube drain.

Tube thoracostomy is a minimally invasive procedure involving a chest tube insertion into the pleural cavity to drain air, blood, bile, pus, or other fluids. Whether the accumulation of air or fluid is the result of trauma or an underlying condition, chest tube drain allows for quick and effective recovery. It's an emergency procedure performed to save the organs or tissues of the chest cavity. Therefore, it has become a vital part of interventional pulmonology as well as critical care.

Why is it performed?
There are multiple situations where chest tube insertion is the most viable treatment option, such as:

  • Collapsed lung
  • Lung infection
  • Bleeding around the lung
  • Fluid buildup in the pleural space
  • Lung surgery

In some cases, a chest tube may also be inserted to diagnose underlying lung damage or internal injuries after an accident.

What is the procedure of chest tube insertion?
It's a minimally invasive procedure, but it also requires great precision and accuracy. Hence, a pulmonologist is typically involved in a chest tube insertion. It is a five-step procedure that begins with sterilizing followed by an anaesthetic injection followed by incision, insertion and drainage. 

  • Preparation/ sterilization: The doctor will prepare the area on the side of the chest by sterilizing it. After sterilizing the area, they will perform an ultrasound to identify the location for tube insertion.
  • Anaesthesia: The anaesthetic injection is put into the vein to numb the area as it will make the patient more comfortable before the chest tube is inserted.
  • Incision: The doctor will make a half-inch cut or incision between the ribs to insert the chest tube.
  • Insertion: The doctor will gently open the scar and guide the tube inside, which will then be stitched in place to prevent it from moving.
  • Drainage: The doctor will put a sterilized bandage all over the insertion site and then will attach the tube to a one-way drainage system that will allow all the excessive air, blood or mucus to flow out of the chest cavity.

During the process and even afterwards, the patient has to be monitored by a doctor or nurse. 

Complications:
While the procedure has some severe complications, patients are at great risk for lower life quality or mortality without timely intervention. Hence, if your doctors are recommending this procedure, it's because the pros significantly outweigh the risks.

Why Eternal Hospital?
At Eternal Hospital, we have a highly qualified and dedicated team of urologists who are always committed to providing the latest and most advanced medical care to all our patients. Being a trusted name in healthcare, we act compassionately while ensuring confidentiality to those who need it. We have set high standards in patient-centric premium care and outstanding patient safety, and exceptional maintenance in a timely manner. We adhere to the use of up to the minute innovations to offer state-of-the-art treatments to our patients with unparalleled results.

Meet Our Team

Dr. K . K. Sharma

Senior Consultant & Head Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine