Evaluating the safety of intraprocedural chest tube removal during medical thoracoscopy

Bertin D. Salguero, Sidra Salman, Abhinav Agrawal, Christian M. Lo Cascio, Greta Joy, Udit Chaddha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Medical Thoracoscopy (MT) is a diagnostic procedure during which after accessing the pleural space the patient's negative-pressure inspiratory efforts draw atmospheric air into the pleural cavity, which creates a space to work in. At the end of the procedure this air must be evacuated via a chest tube, which is typically removed in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU). We hypothesized that its removal intra-operatively is safe and may lead to lesser post-operative pain in comparison to its removal in the PACU. Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of all the MT with intraprocedural chest tube removal done between 2019 to 2023 in adult patients in a single center in New York, NY by interventional pulmonology. Results: A total of 100 MT cases were identified in which the chest tube was removed intra-operatively. Seventy-seven percent of cases were performed as outpatient and all these patients were discharged on the same day. Post procedure ex-vacuo pneumothorax was present in 42% of cases. Sixty-five percent of cases had some post-procedure subcutaneous emphysema, none reported any complaint of this being painful, and no intervention was needed to relieve the air. Seventy-three percent required no additional analgesia in PACU. Of the 27% that required any form of analgesia, 59% required no additional analgesia beyond the first 24 h. Conclusions: Intraprocedural CT removal for MT is safe and may decrease utilization of additional analgesia post procedure. Further prospective studies are necessary to validate these conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107560
JournalRespiratory Medicine
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • Interventional pulmonology
  • Medical thoracoscopy
  • Pleural disease
  • Pleuroscopy


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