This chapter will review the types of surgical drains and tubes available to the modern general and thoracic surgeon, with a brief mention of those available to the interventional radiologist. Proper drain care and management are also discussed with a focus on individual drain types and indications for use. Negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is also reviewed. These modern drainage tools for managing wounds, fluid collections, abscesses, and enteric fistulae have significantly reduced the need for both initial and re-operative surgeries. This has led to decreased morbidity and mortality in the surgical population and has reduced the need for emergent interventions, thereby reducing the associated debilitating inflammatory response, unanticipated “collateral damage,” and stress to both the patient and operating surgeon.
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