A chest tube is used to remove fluid from the space between the lungs and the wall of the chest. The tube is placed between the ribs and into the space between the inner lining and the outer lining of the lung (pleural space).
Update Date 6/6/2013
Updated by: Matthew M. Cooper, MD, FACS, Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery; Medical Director, CareCore National, Bluffton, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.