Chest Tube Insertion

What Is A Chest Tube?

A chest tube is a hollow plastic tube that drains air or extra liquid from the space between your lungs and chest wall. Having extra fluid or air around your lungs can cause infections or breathing problems.

Before the Procedure

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. For the best experience please properly prepare for your appointment:

  • Do not eat 8 hours before and drink 4 hours before your procedure is scheduled.
  • You may take medications with a sip of water. Certain medications cannot be taken prior to this procedure; your doctor will provide instructions if you need to adjust your medication.

During The Procedure

A team of nurses, imaging technologists and a doctor will explain and perform the procedure.

  • Imaging Technologist positions you on an exam table for CT/X-ray
  • Nurse places monitors on your arm and hand to measure your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen level. You may receive oxygen during this procedure.
  • Nurse gives you medication through an IV to minimize discomfort of the procedure.
  • Doctor injects numbing medication into the skin prior to inserting a needle into the chest space.
  • Doctor places a tube for the fluid and/or air to drain.
  • Imaging Technologist will connect the tube to a suction device.

After The Procedure

  • A nurse will continue monitoring you for at least 1 hour. They will position the tube and review at home instructions.
  • The doctor who ordered your procedure will instruct you when your drainage tube can be removed. They may order chest X-rays to look at the lung space before removing the chest tube.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider.

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