Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2007; 55(5): 313-316
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-964930
Original Thoracic

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

One or Two Drains after Lobectomy? A Comparison of Both Methods in the Immediate Postoperative Period

K. Pawelczyk1 , M. Marciniak1 , G. Kacprzak2 , J. Kolodziej1
  • 1Department of Thoracic Surgery, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland
  • 2Department of Thoracic Surgery, Lower Silesian Centre of Lung Diseases, Wroclaw, Poland
Further Information

Publication History

received October 8, 2006

Publication Date:
16 July 2007 (online)


Background: The conventional method of double chest tube drainage after lobectomy is well established. The aim of the study was to compare the efficacy of the two-drain versus the single-drain approach after this procedure. Methods: The data of 183 consecutive patients who underwent lobectomy between January 2000 and May 2005 were analyzed: 93 had two drains and 90 had a single, midposition drain. All patients were operated on by one surgeon with the same surgical technique. Results: Patients with one drain had a shorter hospital stay (7.6 days vs. 9.0 days; p = 0.001). There were no significant differences in the amount of drainage, the necessity of redrainage or broncho-aspiration, and postoperative mortality or complications. The period in which opioids (4.8 days vs. 5.6 days; p = 0.0001) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (6.8 days vs. 7.7 days; p = 0.002) were required was shorter in patients with one drain. The fourth postoperative day was more painful for patients with a double drain. The cost savings in the one-drain group were approximately 125 Euros per patient. Conclusion: A single-drain method is effective, reduces hospitalization times and the cost of treatment in patients who undergo lobectomy.


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Konrad Pawelczyk

Department of Thoracic Surgery
Wroclaw Medical University
ul. Grabiszynska 105

53439 Wroclaw


Phone: + 48 7 13 34 94 75

Fax: + 48 7 13 34 96 03