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Management of chest drainage tubes after lung surgery.

Since chest tubes have been routinely used to drain the pleural space, particularly after lung surgery, the management of chest tubes is considered to be essential for the thoracic surgeon. The pleural drainage system requires effective drainage, suction, and water-sealing. Another key point of chest tube management is that a water seal is considered to be superior to suction for most air leaks. Nowadays, the most common pleural drainage device attached to the chest tube is the three-bottle system. An electronic chest drainage system has been developed that is effective in standardizing the postoperative management of chest tubes. More liberal use of digital drainage devices in the postoperative management of the pleural space is warranted. The removal of chest tubes is a common procedure occurring almost daily in hospitals throughout the world. Extraction of the tube is usually done at the end of full inspiration or at the end of full expiration. The tube removal technique is not as important as how it is done and the preparation for the procedure. The management of chest tubes must be based on careful observation, the patient's characteristics, and the operative procedures that had been performed.

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