The impact of same-day chest drain removal on pulmonary function after thoracoscopic lobectomy

Takeo Nakada, Suguru Shirai, Yuko Oya, Yusuke Takahashi, Noriaki Sakakura, Takashi Ohtsuka, Hiroaki Kuroda

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: This study aims to assess the feasibility and impact on long-term pulmonary function of chest drain removal on the operation day following thoracoscopic right upper lobectomy for clinical stage I non-small cell lung cancer. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated the data of 116 patients between May 2013 and March 2019. We evaluated the correlations of clinical parameters of chest drain removal and medium- and long-term pulmonary function by comparing removal on operation day (R group) and retainment (D group). Results: The R group comprised 64 patients, and the D group had 52 patients. Fifty patients (96.2%) in the D group had chest drain removed within 3 postoperative days. Since February 2016, chest drain removal on operation day was performed in 64 of 74 patients (86.5%) according to our chest drain removal protocol. Removal of chest drains on operation day was associated with shorter postoperative hospitalization (p < 0.01) and lower postoperative complications ≧ grade II of the Clavien–Dindo classification (p = 0.026). Only one patient in the R group needed reinsertion. The R group had greater spirometry results at 3- and 12-postoperative months (POM). R group patients had statistically improved pulmonary functions from 3 to 12POM, while those in the D Group were stagnated at 6POM. Conclusions: Removal of chest drains on operation day using our protocol is safe and feasible for thoracoscopic right upper lobectomy. This protocol was statistically associated with slightly better long-term pulmonary function, which could not bring clinically meaningful medium- and long-term benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-696
Number of pages7
JournalGeneral Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 04-2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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