Doctor insights on:
Chest Tube Scar
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
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) or fluid (pleural effusion, blood, chyle), or pus (empyema) from the intrathoracic space. It is also known as a bülau drain ...Read more
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
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
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?
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
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
I had a chest tube on for 2 days, and my chest tube incision hasn't closed up yet and its been 2 weeks without the chest tube, is this normal?
Follow up: You need to see your doctor for follow up. ...Read more
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
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) 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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
Shower: That would be up to your surgeon. ...Read more
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
Keep it covered: To prevent infection.Get a more detailed answer ›
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?
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
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
Flying: Is the chest tube still in place? This doesn't make sense. You must ask your thoracic surgeon this question! ...Read more
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
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
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
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