Learn more about tubes, catheters and other equipment after thoracic surgery.

After your surgery, you might have a variety of tubes and lines attached to help speed your recovery.

Epidural Catheter

Before your operation, a very thin tube or catheter might be placed into your back. Pain medication will continuously flow around the spinal cord decreasing your ability to feel pain.

Urinary Catheter

A catheter will be placed in your bladder during surgery to make urination after surgery easier. The catheter will remain in for a few days.

Chest Tubes

After chest surgery, it is necessary to drain air and fluid from the lining around the lung. Depending on the type of surgery, you may have one or more chest tubes.

The tubes are monitored by the nurses and doctors for air and fluid. A chest x-ray is done one or more times each day to find out if you lung is healing. When your lungs are well expanded, as shown by your chest x-ray, the doctor will remove the tube.

Air Boots for Circulation

To help prevent blood clots after surgery, you will wear air boots while you are in bed. These are made of soft plastic material, which wrap around your legs and inflate and deflate. You'll wear support stockings when you are out of bed.

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