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USC - University of Southern California Cardiothoracic Surgery at University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
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Glossary of Terms

Chest Tube Insertion
A procedure in which a chest tube is inserted, usually via a small incision between the ribs, into a portion of the chest cavity. Chest tubes are places to remove abnormal collections air, blood, or fluids that can compromise normal lung and heart function. The chest tubes are inserted under local anesthesia and sedation. The tubes are connected to a closed system and allow drainage or removal of the blood, fluid or air away from the heart and lungs, allowing resumption of normal function.


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