A doctor inserts a chest tube, a thin plastic tube, into the pleural space. This is the area between your chest wall and your lungs. A chest tube may be used by doctors for many reasons, including to inflate a collapsed lung or drain fluid or blood.
This article will explain how chest tube drainage work and what to expect during the procedure. For a variety of conditions, doctors insert chest tubes.
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Empyema: An infection that occurs in the pleural space is called an empyema.
Hemothorax: Hemothorax occurs when excess blood builds up in the chest cavity, usually due to an injury, tumor, or bleeding disorder. A chest tube may be placed by doctors to prevent hemothorax following chest surgery.
Pleural fluid: This is when there is a buildup in the pleural space. It can be caused by heart disease, lymphatic fluid, lung cancer, and infections like tuberculosis or pneumonia.
Pneumothorax – A collapsed lung is called a pneumothorax. Sometimes, a lung can collapse suddenly without warning. This is called spontaneous pneumothorax. Pneumothorax can also be caused by a chest injury such as a gunshot, or stab wound.
To perform a procedure called pleurodesis, a doctor might also insert a tube into the chest.
Pleurodesis uses an intrapleural tube to inject chemicals. These chemicals can irritate the linings of the lungs and cause intentional injury. This prevents fluid from building up.