Maybe this is a dumb question. But I have rarely cared for a patient in the home with a chest tube. Now I have a Pleurx that we are draining weekly. The kind you hook up to the bottle and drain it, then change the dressing. The dressing is occlusive.

My question is, how long can the patient have the tube in? I am told it can be in for months. And what about the sutures? Do they just stay in indefinitely even if the tube is in long term?


73 Posts

I have had pts with the pleurex cath in for a longggggggg time, the dr has removed the sutures tho, as the cath has that end that it cant come out.


8 Posts

well her sutures have been in for a looooong time as well, and I was wondering about that but she was supposedly following up with the doctor except now I found out she only has been seeing the oncologist NOT the surgeon, so the sutures are still in. Now I'm worried that I missed something and should have called the doc long ago :( Also didn't know the cath has something that keeps it from coming out....??


10,301 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice. Has 44 years experience.

no problem

call the doc that signed the orders pertinent to the chest tube and ask about the sutures, get a suture removal kit and prepare yourself to remove them if ordered


73 Posts

I didnt know what the tube actually looked like either, so i googled it

thank goodness for google!

kiszi, RN

1 Article; 604 Posts

Has 9 years experience.

I've seen sutures stay in place on a pleur-x almost indefinitely. If there is no evidence of complications at the insertion site, I wouldn't be concerned. I think some providers prefer to leave them.

I had a pt with malignant pleural effusion keep his (bilat) caths in for years.

Truly an amazing device! Sure beats having to go get the ol' needle all the time.