Tube thoracostomy is a procedure in which a tube is placed through the chest wall into the pleural cavity primarily to drain an air or fluid collection from the pleural space, but the tube can also be used to instill medications for pleurodesis.
The indications, contraindications, technique, management, and complications of thoracostomy tube placement will be reviewed here. Specific medical and surgical conditions that result in the need to perform thoracostomy for pleural drainage are discussed in separate topic reviews.
Thoracostomy tube placement is indicated for the following conditions:
•Spontaneous pneumothorax (see "Primary spontaneous pneumothorax in adults")