Drainology: Leveraging research in chest-drain management to enhance recovery after cardiothoracic surgery

Kevin W. Lobdell, Louis P. Perrault, Rachel H. Drgastin, Alessandro Brunelli, Robert J. Cerfolio, Daniel T. Engelman, ERAS Cardiac Society Working Group  |  April 9, 2024

Central Message Wide variation in the use of chest drains after cardiothoracic surgery can compromise consistency of care and outcomes. The new science of drainology represents an opportunity for quality improvement. Perspective Current practices for chest drain management are typically based on clinical tradition because of a lack of quality…

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Outcomes of chest drain management using only air leak (without fluid) criteria for removal after general thoracic surgery—a drainology study

Ashiq Abdul Khader, Aina Pons, Abigail Palmares, Sarah Booth, Alexander Smith, Chiara Proli, Paulo De Sousa and Eric Lim  |  July 10, 2023

Chest drain management is a variable aspect of postoperative care in thoracic surgery, with different opinion for air and drain volume output. The results of our study demonstrate acceptable levels of safety using digital assessment of air leak as the sole criteria for drain removal in selected patients after general…

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Are chest drains routinely required after thoracic surgery? A drainology study of on-table chest-drain removals

Ashiq Abdul Khader, Aina Pons, Abigail Palmares, Chiara Proli, Paulo De Sousa and Eric Lim  |  June 2, 2023

Advances in perioperative management for thoracic surgery have accelerated the postoperative recovery of patients by decreasing postoperative pain and the incidence of complications. We aimed to study whether it’s safe to remove chest drains on table in selected cases. Click here to read on JTCVS Open.

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Enhanced recovery after surgery and chest tube management

Tim J.P. Batchelor  |  February 24, 2023

This review from Tim Batchelor highlights importance of a focus on proactive chest tube management (single tube, no routine suction, use of digital drains, early removal) for superior patient outcomes. 

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Chest tube management: Past, present, and future directions for developing evidence-based best practices

Kevin W. Lobdell, MD and Daniel T. Engelman, MD  |  February 20, 2021

In the PAST, traditional practice with eminence-based therapies have led to a wide variation of practice. PRESENTLY, new technology has emerged, confounders and variables are being addressed. Yet, quality evidence is rare. This review article surveys what is available regarding chest drain management practices. Scientific gaps, unmet needs, and opportunities…

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