9 doctors weighed in:

How is a chest tube inserted? Does it hurt?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Sanders
Internal Medicine - Pulmonology
4 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Michael Sanders
Dr. Michael Sanders
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Dr. Ernest Block
Surgery - Trauma
2 doctors agree

In brief: No

Tube thoracostomy is performed by surgeons and other specialists who have sufficient training.
With careful local anesthetic administration and intravenous sedation, the pain can be curtailed.

In brief: No

Tube thoracostomy is performed by surgeons and other specialists who have sufficient training.
With careful local anesthetic administration and intravenous sedation, the pain can be curtailed.
Dr. Ernest Block
Dr. Ernest Block
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Dr. Patrick Wyffels
Critical Care

In brief: It should not.

After the patient agrees to the procedure ( if time allows ), the end of a sterile tube is carefully placed through a small incision ( after local anesthesia is placed & the skin thoroughly cleansed ) and positioned in the chest to drain fluid, air or both.
It is then connected to a sealed drainage system to allow the escape of any or to collect any fluid in the chest. It is secured with stiches.

In brief: It should not.

After the patient agrees to the procedure ( if time allows ), the end of a sterile tube is carefully placed through a small incision ( after local anesthesia is placed & the skin thoroughly cleansed ) and positioned in the chest to drain fluid, air or both.
It is then connected to a sealed drainage system to allow the escape of any or to collect any fluid in the chest. It is secured with stiches.
Dr. Patrick Wyffels
Dr. Patrick Wyffels
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