The use of a water seal to manage air leaks after a pulmonary lobectomy: a retrospective study.

Junichi Okamoto, Tatsuro Okamoto, Yasuro Fukuyama, Chie Ushijima, Masafumi Yamaguchi, Yukito Ichinose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The methods for managing chest drainage tubes during the postoperative period differ among thoracic surgeons and, as a result, the optimal method remains controversial. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We reviewed 170 consecutive patients undergoing a pulmonary lobectomy for either primary lung cancer or metastatic lung cancer from January 1998 to December 2002. After the operation, the chest drainage tube was placed on a suction pump with a negative pressure of -10 cmH(2)O in 120 patients before 2001, while such drainage tubes were kept on water seal in 47 cases mainly since 2001. RESULTS: Regarding the preoperative and postoperative variables, postoperative air leak as well as the video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) procedure were more frequently observed in the water seal group than in the suction group (p=0.01580, p<0.001, respectively). In comparing these different populations, each Kaplan-Meier curve, which presented the duration of the postoperative air leak seemed to be similar between the two methods. CONCLUSION: These observations suggest that applying chest tubes on water seal seems to be an effective method for preventing postoperative air leak in clinical practice. However, a prospective randomized trial using a larger series of patients is warranted for this subject.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-244
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery : official journal of the Association of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons of Asia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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