Interventional Radiology at Union Hospital, Dover Ohio

Chest Tube Placement

What is a Chest Tube?

Types of tubes that could be placed in the chest.
Types of tubes that could be placed in the chest.

Sometimes a patient can develop fluid or air within the chest cavity. In order to drain the fluid or allow the air to escape the chest cavity, a drainage tube may need to be inserted.

What will happen?

Outpatients will start in Ambulatory Care where the patient will change into a gown, an IV will be started, and Medical history taken. Inpatients and Outpatients will be brought to the Radiology Department where the procedure will be explained and any questions answered. The patient will be positioned on the X-ray table and an Ultrasound machine may be used to help the doctor guide the chest tube into place. X-rays will be used to check the position of the chest tube. A special collection system that will not allow air to enter the chest cavity is placed on the part of the drainage catheter coming through the skin. A dressing is secured around the entry site and tube.

Will it hurt?

You may feel a bee sting when the doctor numbs the entry site. You also may feel some pushing at the entry site when tube is put in place. A few moments after the tube is in place you should be able to breathe better then you could prior to the procedure.

When can I get back to my normal activity?

This is variable depending on your condition. Normally you will be observed in the hospital for a few hours. The doctor or nurse will let you know for sure.

When do I get my results?

The doctor will be able to tell you and your family the results as soon as the procedure is finished.

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