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Thread: Tubes... What are they for??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    407

    Tubes... What are they for??

    I've seen a few people post they have had tubes in their chest for the surgery, and I'm just wondering if this is normal or not. For my surgery I had two tubes stuck in the side of my chest, I don't remember if it was one for each surgery, or both at once. But I do have the scars from them, and there are two.

    I thought they were to drain my lungs as I had fluid buildup in them after my surgeries. But then they also stuck a vacuum tube down my resperator tubes to suck out fluids as well. Let me tell you that was fun! I hated it when they did that, cause it also sucked out all the air in my lungs too. It is my belief that air in the lungs is a good thing...

    So now I am confused as to what the tubes were for. So can someone fill me in on what tubes are put in for?

    Thanks,

    Brad
    Surgeries July 26th & August 3rd 1983 (12 years old)
    Still have 57 degree curve
    2 Harrington rods
    Luque method used
    Dr David Bradford
    Twin Cities Scoliosis Center
    Preop xray (with brace on)
    Postop xray

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978
    Not me. I've been wondering too.
    67 and plugging along...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Big Bear, CA
    Posts
    290
    I didn't have tubes in my chest but I did have 2 small tubes in my back for drainage. They came out a few days after surgery. Not sure if we are talking about the same thing here.
    Geish
    47 years old, dx at 13
    +30* to the right, +60* to the left, +30* to the right
    Surgery 12-13-07 - fusion from T4 to sacrum.


    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...tachmentid=267 Pre surgery
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...tachmentid=268 Post surgery
    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/DSC01091.jpg Xray from the side
    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...1089-1-1-1.jpg Xray from the back

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,294

    Lightbulb Chest tubes

    With some scoliosis surgeries--anterior approach usually, one lung is deflated by the anesthesia provider so that it doesn't get in the way of the surgeon.
    The other lung continues to be ventilated. At the end of surgery, when they close the chest area, that deflated lung remains collapsed. Suction is applied in the chest cavity outside that lung for a couple of days to help it reinflate normally. An X-ray is taken to make sure and the tube is pulled out.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Salina, Ks
    Posts
    126
    Not positive this is the same but I had 2 in my back to drain fluids off the surgical site. There really was a lot of drainage and I was glad that was not all just draining into my body. I felt some freedom when they came out as I had to be careful not to lay on the disc like pouches that the fluids went into.
    Nancy Joy

    Surgery- Posterior- Oct. 8th, 2008
    Anterior- Nov. 10th, 2008
    Age 54
    T10 to Sacrum
    Curve 65 degrees
    Very straight now!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    407
    Thanks for the responces. Maybe my tubes were just general drainage tubes. Mine were in my side though, not in my back. I do not know if that makes a difference as to their purpose or not... ???

    Brad
    Surgeries July 26th & August 3rd 1983 (12 years old)
    Still have 57 degree curve
    2 Harrington rods
    Luque method used
    Dr David Bradford
    Twin Cities Scoliosis Center
    Preop xray (with brace on)
    Postop xray

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    288
    Maybe my tubes were just general drainage tubes. Mine were in my side though, not in my back. I do not know if that makes a difference as to their purpose or not... ???
    Brad

    The tube in your side, was likely the chest tube that Karen referred to. You also mention being on a respirator (ventilator). Most people are not put on a ventilator post-operatively. Both are used to improve you lung function.

    You most likely had incision drains as well--maybe you don't remember.

    p

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    I just had 2 drains from my back removed today, 5 days after surgery. They were these little football shaped platic balls that filled up with really icky looking bloody stuff. They drained and measured them 2 or 3 times a day. Removed them when they were down to a certain level each day. Feels much better with them gone, the one side hurt when I layed on it.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    407
    Quote Originally Posted by PNUTTRO View Post
    Brad

    The tube in your side, was likely the chest tube that Karen referred to. You also mention being on a respirator (ventilator). Most people are not put on a ventilator post-operatively. Both are used to improve you lung function.

    You most likely had incision drains as well--maybe you don't remember.

    p
    Most likely I do not remember I'll have to give my mother a call and see if she remembers. I was on a lot of morphine in ICU. I spent 4 days there the first surgery and 3 the second. I didn't like the ventelator very much, specially when they came to 'clean' my lungs. Not fun. Plus I could not speak with the tubes there. (I used a clipboard with paper on it to communicate)

    Yes, defiantely time to call my mother. Mom's know everything!

    Brad
    Surgeries July 26th & August 3rd 1983 (12 years old)
    Still have 57 degree curve
    2 Harrington rods
    Luque method used
    Dr David Bradford
    Twin Cities Scoliosis Center
    Preop xray (with brace on)
    Postop xray

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