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Doctor insights on: Chest Tube Scar

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My chest tube scar is still so painfull why is this?

My chest tube scar is still so painfull why is this?

How long: Has it been out? If early it could still be inflammation. If late it can be thickened scar tissue around nerves or neuromas. Lots of nerves sit by the ribs so it can take a while. Also placing a chest tube is done by creating a hole through the muscle as well. This muscle healing may take time too. ...Read more

Chest Tube (Definition)

A chest tube (chest drain, thoracic catheter, tube thoracostomy, or intercostal drain) is a flexible plastic tube that is inserted through the chest wall and into the pleural space or mediastinum. It is used to remove air (pneumothorax[2]) or fluid (pleural effusion, blood, chyle), or pus (empyema) from the intrathoracic space. It is also known as a bülau drain ...Read more


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How easy is it to get a chest tube scar flattened? I had ohs when I was 8 and I am now 43

How easy is it to get a chest tube scar flattened? I had ohs when I was 8 and I am now 43

Improve, not remove.: Scars cannot be removed but there is a large variety of techniques to improve their appearance, both surgical and non-surgical. They also improve with time. See a board-certified plastic surgeon to evaluate your options.

Good luck! ...Read more

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Does a chest tube leave a big scar?

Does a chest tube leave a big scar?

Small scar: Chest tubes are drains that are essential to restore full expansion of the lung and drain fluid off. In other words, they are life saving. Scarring from these tubes is minimal (less than 1 inch) and shouldn't be a concern considering the advantages. ...Read more

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After a chest tube has been removed do u always end up with a big round scar? Mine is circular I wondered why it was stitched straight for me x

After a chest tube has been removed do u always end up with a big round scar? Mine is circular I wondered why it was stitched straight for me x

Often a round shape: Chest tubes are round, and depending on the location/duration the tube was in place, a hypertrophic round scar may result even if a stitch or two was placed at the time of removal. Relatively simple matter to revise and convert to a more linear scar. Chest wall is moving often, making some stretch-relaxation of maturing scars a bit problematic. ...Read more

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I had a chest tube 4mths ago for pericardial window & now I have pain in that area. Scar tissue? Adhesion? Is pain normal to start this far out?

I had a chest tube 4mths ago for pericardial window & now I have pain in that area. Scar tissue? Adhesion? Is pain normal to start this far out?

It would not be: Surprising to have some residual discomfort due to adhesions, retractions or scarring. It is unlikely to be infection. If the discomfort persists it would be worth a visit to your health care provider to be examined. ...Read more

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Chest tube recovery?

Chest tube recovery?

What is the question: Not quite sure I understand the question. ...Read more

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What is a chest tube used for?

What is a chest tube used for?

See below: It is used to drain fluids (blood, pus, pleural fluid) or air out of the pleural space. ...Read more

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What are the effects of chest tube insertion?

Lung reinflation: Chest tubes are inserted to reinflate the lung after surgery or injury has caused them to deflate. They can also be used to drain fluid or pus from around the lung. Complications are very rare. ...Read more

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What are the effects of a chest tube insertion?

What are the effects of a chest tube insertion?

Lung expansion: If you have a lung that can't expand fully, the chest tube helps to allow lung re-exansion. Fluid could be blocking expansion and a tube tube removes the fluid. If your lungs have a leak that prevents expansion, the negative pressure created by the chest tube suction inside the chest cavity allows the lung to stay expanded until the lung leak can heal itself. ...Read more

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How long would a chest tube stay in pneumothorax?

How long would a chest tube stay in pneumothorax?

Few days: On average with a spontaneous ptx tubes only needed for a day or two.
Sometimes u need an operation to fix the leak. ...Read more

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What is and how would a procedure called chest tube drainage be handled?

What is and how would a procedure called chest tube drainage be handled?

Same as its name: It is a tube inserted into chest cavity around the lung to drain air or fluid/blood/pus. After it is inserted the amount of fluid removed daily along with type of fluid plus almost daily chest x-ray will tell your doctor when it is ready to come out. In case of air leakage they will wait for air to stop before pulling it out as long as your x ray looks good. ...Read more

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Does a chest tube hurt?

Does a chest tube hurt?

Depends: The small bore chest tubes inserted with a needle are much less painful than the large bore tubes that are inserted by making an incision and dissecting tissue down to the pleural. ...Read more

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Chest tube removal hurt?

Chest tube removal hurt?

Some: Removing the tube is usually very well tolerated. While it may feel strange, it generally causes very little pain. ...Read more

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How is a chest tube put in?

How is a chest tube put in?

Depends: There are 2 ways. The easiest way is to place it over a wire that's inserted through a needle. These work for almost every type of problem that requires a chest tube. The other way, is to make an incision, dissect down to the ribs and puncture the pleura and place the tube through the hole. This is much more involved and painful. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: chest tube?

What is the definition or description of: chest tube?

See below: A chest tube (chest drain, thoracic catheter, tube thoracostomy, or intercostal drain) is a flexible plastic tube that is inserted through the chest wall and into the pleural space or mediastinum. It is used to remove air (pneumothorax[2]) or fluid (pleural effusion, blood, chyle), or pus (empyema) from the intrathoracic space. It is also known as a bülau drain or an intercostal catheter. ...Read more

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Chest pain after chest tube removal?

Normal: Chest tubes are painful as it is, and when removed, residual pain is not common. If it doesn't get gradually better or you become acutely short of breathe, then a repeat chest xray would be needed. ...Read more

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How is a chest tube inserted? Does it hurt?

How is a chest tube inserted? Does it hurt?

Depends: There are 2 ways. The easiest way is to place it over a wire that's inserted through a needle. These work for almost every type of problem that requires a chest tube. The other way, is to make an incision, dissect down to the ribs and puncture the pleura and place the tube through the hole. This is much more involved and painful. Local anesthetics do not numb the pleural and deep tissues. ...Read more

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How does chest tube obstruction of the patient happen?

How does chest tube obstruction of the patient happen?

Many causes/workup: A chest tube may become obstructed when there is a clot or other substance blocking drainage. A chest radiograph can help determine if there is still fluid or a pneumothorax. ...Read more

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I broke two ribs and had to have a chest tube also and I'm still in pain after two weeks?

I broke two ribs and had to have a chest tube also and I'm still in pain after two weeks?

Since the ribs: Must"move" when you breathe healing of fractures takes a bit longer thus the continued discomfort. The chest tube also results in incisional pain.... Speak with your treating health professional about proper pain medication and be patient......things will improve!

Hope this is helpful!

Dr Z ...Read more

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My daughter had a chest tube at 2 years of age. (2004) she is now 13 and having pain around the scare.

Mgt: Sometimes scars do contract, and can cause pain. If she has any trouble breathing, I would advise a visit to the ED. Otherwise your PCP may elect to obtain a radiograph. ...Read more

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Is it true that chest tube therapy is considered a minor operation?

Is it true that chest tube therapy is considered a minor operation?

Yes: It's a procedure done under local anesthesia, sometimes with sedation. There are 2 types. One is done in hospital and requires an inpatient stay. The tube is connected to an external drain system and removed after a few days. The other is a tunneled tube that is placed as an outpatient and is accessed for drainage periodically. Which one depends on multiple factors, most important why it's placed. ...Read more

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How long do you have to stay in the hospital after having a chest tube thoracostomy?

How long do you have to stay in the hospital after having a chest tube thoracostomy?

"Days": A chest tube is most often placed to treat a collapsed lung (pneumothorax). This allows the hole that caused the pneumothorax to seal, typically within 1-3 days. Once it is sealed, the tube can be removed and one can go home. ...Read more

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Doc....Normally for how long it will stay the chest tube to the patient and is there a chance of surviving?

Doc....Normally for how long it will stay the chest tube to the patient and is there a chance of surviving?

Certainly...: ...A chest tube is not a desperate measure, it does not mean someone is dying. As for how long it stays in, that depends of why it went in in the first place. Obviously someone who got it for an asthmatic or traumatic pneumothorax will walk away from the experience with more likelihood than someone with a malignant pleural effusion. ...Read more

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I have colapsed lung with chest tube. If I chose to remove tube and lung isn't inflated what will thr consquences be?

I have colapsed lung with chest tube. If I chose to remove tube and lung isn't inflated what will thr consquences be?

Pneumothorax: A chest tube is placed when the lung has collapsed. It allows the lung to re-expand. The chest tube is removed when there is no evidence of a "leak" which would imply that the lung may collapse again if the tube is removed. You should let your medical team decide when the time is right to remove the tube. If it removed too soon it may create a life threatening emergency. ...Read more

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Does it hurt when you remove a chest tube?

Not much: Much, much less then when it went in. There will be some discomfort, very little if any pain. ...Read more

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How long does pain last after a chest tube?

This is variable: Pain after a chest tube can be variable. Usually it will resolve within a week after it has been removed. I would want to know why it was needed in the first place. Is the pain really related to the chest tube or to the underlying reason why the chest tube was related. Intercostal nerves running under the ribs can possibly be injured by a chest tube but this is unusual. ...Read more

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When should a chest tube be removed during the ventillatory cycle?

When should a chest tube be removed during the ventillatory cycle?

At end inspiration: The patient should fully inspire to the point he/she is unable to breath in any more. Therefore, there is little risk for sucking air into the chest cavity during removal. Some people teach removal while exhaling (this creates positive pressure in chest). The risk here is that it is natural to breath in when experiencing pain. Thus, patient has more risk because he/she can suddenly suck air in. ...Read more

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I have left my chest tube wound open over night to help heal its been 3.5 weeks it's so painful underneath when will I feel better?

Post thoracotomy: Chest tube placement and other invasive chest wall procedures can lead to lasting pain. Talk to your physician about using a drug for neuropathic pain, which can reduce or eliminate the symptoms. ...Read more

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I have my chest tube wound its been three weeks it's still painfull around the area it's oozy but not smelly should it be started to heal abit better?

I have my chest tube wound its been three weeks it's still painfull around the area it's oozy but not smelly should it be started to heal abit better?

Wound care +: How quickly a wound like that heals depends on how well nourished you are, why you had the chest tube in the first place, and what sort of wound care you're getting. That said, by 3 weeks it should not still be "leaking" fluid. See your surgeon or pulmonologist and have them take a look. ...Read more

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I was told to keep my bandage over my chest tube hole clean and dry for 3 days. What should I do after those 3 days? Change the dressing or remove it?

I was told to keep my bandage over my chest tube hole clean and dry for 3 days. What should I do after those 3 days? Change the dressing or remove it?

Mgt: I would suggest assessment of the wound. If there is no drainage, swelling or excessive redness., it can be covered loosely with a bandage. If not, you should see your PCP. ...Read more

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If had a chest tube placed in the ER a few days ago can I fly on a commercial airliner?

If had a chest tube placed in the ER a few days ago can I fly on a commercial airliner?

Flying: Is the chest tube still in place? This doesn't make sense. You must ask your thoracic surgeon this question! ...Read more

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Will the doctor put me to sleep if I need a chest tube inserted?

Will the doctor put me to sleep if I need a chest tube inserted?

Depends: If this is an emergent need for a chest tube usually only local/topical medications are given. If this is an elective placement of the chest tube occassionally IV medication can be given before the procedure. In good hands the placement should be only moderately uncomfortable. ...Read more

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What color is the drainage from a chest tube with a a pleural effusion?

What color is the drainage from a chest tube with a a pleural effusion?

Depends: Normal fluid should look like light colored urine. Heart, liver and kidney failure effusions will look like this. If it's an empyema, it will be pus. If it's infection or something inflammatory, It can be pus, dark yellow, or bloody. If it's a cancer, it's almost always bloody. ...Read more

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What color is the drainage from a chest tube with a a pleural effusion?

What color is the drainage from a chest tube with a a pleural effusion?

Depends: Caused bybwhat?
Trauma- bloody
Cancer- bloody or yellow serous, or sero- sanguinous.
Infection - bloody or cloudy or pus or serous ...Read more

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What color is drainage from a chest tube when you have a pleural effusion?

What color is drainage from a chest tube when you have a pleural effusion?

Depends on cause: It really depends on the cause of the effusion. For example, it can look very bloody if related to a hemothorax or complicated parapneumonic effusion, it can look like pus if due to an empyema, or it can even look milky if related to a chylothorax, in general, if due to pneumonia or malignancy it usually looks clear to yellowish with some blood. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Press
1,974 Doctors shared insights

Scarring (Definition)

A scar is the result of the body healing. It is the end product of a long cascade of signals and cellular repair that takes approximately a year to complete, and a lifetime to maintain. It is a normal process that occurs whenever ...Read more


Dr. Ed Friedlander
1,985 Doctors shared insights

Scars (Definition)

Scar = fibrous tissue that forms ...Read more