Control of the pleural space after pneumonectomy.
The authors believe that most patients who undergo pneumonectomy do not require drainage of the postpneumonectomy space. Needle or catheter aspiration is simple and usually adequate. In cases in which significant bleeding, rapid pleural fluid accumulation, or contamination is expected, however, drainage of the space is recommended. If drainage is used, the tube probably should be connected to a balanced drainage system to ensure proper physiologic positioning of the mediastinum during the critical immediate postoperative period.
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