Technology and evidence-based care enhance postoperative management of chest drains
Despite being considered a routine task by many thoracic surgeons, managing a patient’s chest following pulmonary resection remains an evolving science. Enhanced recover after surgery (ERAS) programs strive to standardize surgical care with recent clinical data, advances in technology, and protocolized postoperative care. In addition, to promote consistency within the literature in the setting of advancements in technology, the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS), the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS), the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), and the General Thoracic Surgery Club (GTSC) have standardized the terminology related to chest tube management decisions. The term “applied external suction” is defined as application of negative pressure to the pleural space and “no applied external suction” is defined as the absence of applied negative pressure to the pleural space (1).