Alternative Approach to Removal of a Retained Chest Tube

Modupeola Diyaolu, Bethany Malone, Michael S. Firstenberg


Chest tubes are a staple of cardiothoracic surgery used both in the pre-operative setting and post-operatively. Placement of the chest tube is equally as important as removal. When a chest tube cannot be removed, most often due to a suture through the tube, it typically results in the patient returning to the operating room for an additional procedure. Alternatively, by using fiberoptic bronchoscopy, the physician can visualize the problem and use endoscopic instruments to correct it, thereby saving the patient from having to endure another invasive procedure.

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