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A chest tube is placed through the chest wall between two ribs. Your child had a chest tube put in to help a collapsed lung expand. Your child may have some pain in the chest from the cut (incision) where the tube was put in. For most people, the pain goes away after about 2 weeks. Your child will have a bandage taped over the wound. The doctor will remove the bandage and examine the wound in about 2 days.
It will take about 3 to 4 weeks for your child's incision to heal completely. It may leave a small scar that will fade with time.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for your child to recover. But each child recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to help your child get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your child's health, and be sure to call the doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: October 26, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & David C. Stuesse MD - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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