Chest drainage

Chest drainage helps maintain respiratory function and hemodynamic stability by removing blood, fluid, or air from around your lungs or heart. Robotics, artificial intelligence, telemedicine, health apps and much more. The digital revolution is not bypassing the medical field. Quite the opposite: it is quickly heading towards our day-to-day work and influencing how we work in the OR, the ICU and on the ward.

And chest drainage systems have already started to become digital. Digital chest drainage systems were launched in 2007. Traditional systems that rely on external wall suction have long been outdated. 

Thanks to their evidence-based benefits, digital chest drainage systems have also been recommended in national and international guidances. Clinical decisions are increasingly based on therapy data and economic drivers in healthcare systems. Therefore, reliable information is even more important.

Digital Chest Drainage and Monitoring System* Thopaz +

  • Silent, portable, battery-powered system for uninterrupted drainage
  • Light, compact design simplifies early patient mobility
  • Objective measurement and trends for optimized chest drain management

*Monitoring of fluid drainage, air leak and pressure


2023 Sørensen MF, Holbek BL, Petersen RH, Christensen TD. What is the optimal level of suction on digital chest drainage devices following pulmonary lobectomy? Interact CardioVasc Thorac Surg 2021; doi:10.1093/icvts/ivab028.

2023 Vasconcelos-Castro S, Borges-Dias M, Soares-Oliveira M. Digital Thoracic Drainage System: A New Tool For Pediatric Thoracic Surgery. Rev Port Cir Cardiotorac Vasc [Internet]. 2023;29(4):21-5.

2023 Zhou L, Guo K, Shang X, et al. Advantages of applying digital chest drainage system for postoperative management of patients following pulmonary resection: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 12 randomized controlled trials. Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2023;71:1-11.

2023 Aprile V, Bacchin D, Calabrò F, et al. Intraoperative prevention and conservative management of postoperative prolonged air leak after lung resection: a systematic review. J of Thorac Dis 2023;15(2): 878.

2023 Batchelor, TJP. Enhanced recovery after surgery and chest tube management. J Thorac Dis 2023;15(2):901-908.

2022 Izaaryene J, Dassa M, Orsini B et al. Initial Experience of Digital Air Leak Quantification in Interventional Radiology. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 2022;45:1750–1754.

2022 Chang PC, Chen, KH, Jhou HJ, Lee CH, Chou SH, Chen PH, Chang TW. Promising effects of digital chest tube drainage system for pulmonary resection: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Journal of Personalized Medicine 2022;12(4):512.

2022 Tamura K., Sakurai S. Clinical efficacy of digital chest drainage system in cardiac valve surgery. Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2022;70:619–623.

2021 Pawelkowska, K, et al. Early experience with the Thopaz+ chest drainage system–is this a new era in the management of post-cardiotomy bleeding?. Kardiochirurgia i Torakochirurgia Polska/Polish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2021;18(4): 236-238.

2021 Eriguchi D, Ito H, Nagashima T, Adachi H, Samejima J, Nemoto D et al. Usefulness of monitoring intrapleural pressure with digital chest drainage system for the management of airleakage after lung resection. Interact CardioVasc Thorac Surg 2021; doi:10.1093/icvts/ivab122.

2021 Mitsui S, Tauchi S, Uchida T, et al. Low suction on digital drainage devices promptly improves post-operative air leaks following lung resection operations: a retrospective study. J Cardiothorac Surg 2021; 16(105)

2020 Alam MS, Haseen, MA, Aslam M, Beng MH. Use of Thopaz in patients of empyema thoracis undergoing decortication. Lung. India 2020 (37):511–517.

2020 Saha S, Hofmann S, Jebran AF, et al. Safety and efficacy of digital chest drainage units compared to conventional chest drainage units in cardiac surgery. Interact CardioVasc Thorac Surg 2020;31(1):42-47.

2020 Ruigrok D, Kunst PWA, Blacha MMJ, et al. Digital versus analogue chest drainage system in patients with primary spontaneous pneumothorax: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2020; 20:136

2020 Barozzi L, Biagio LS, Meneguzzi M, et al. Novel, digital, chest drainage system in cardiac surgery. J Card Surg. 2020;1–6.2020Pfeuty K, Lenot B. Early postoperative day 0 chest tube removal using a digital drainage device protocol after thoracoscopic major pulmonary resection. Interact CardioVasc Thorac Surg 2020; doi:10.1093/icvts/ivaa170.

2019 Batchelor TJP, Rasburn NJ, Abdelnour-Berchtold E, et al. Guidelines for enhanced recovery after lung surgery: recommendations of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERASVR). Society and the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2019;55:91–115.

2019 Engelman DT, Ben Ali W, Williams JB, et al. Guidelines for perioperative care in cardiac surgery: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Society recommendations. JAMA Surg 2019; 154: 755–766.

2019 Holbek BL, Christensen M, Hansen HJ, et al. The effects of low suction on digital drainage devices after lobectomy using video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery: a randomized controlled trialdagger. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2019;55:673–81.

2019 Wang H, Hu W, Ma L, et al. Digital chest drainage system versus traditional chest drainage system after pulmonary resection: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Cardiothorac Surg 2019;14:13

2019 Engelman DT, Ben Ali W, Williams JB, et al. Guidelines for perioperative care in cardiac surgery: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Society recommendations. JAMA Surg 2019;154:755–766.

2019 Van Linden A, Hecker F, Courvoisier DS, et al. Reduction of drainage-associated complications in cardiac surgery with a digital drainage system: a randomized controlled trial. J Thorac Dis 2019;11(12):5177-5186.

2019 Pérez-Egido L, Antonia MA, García-Casillasa, Simal I, et al. Digital thoracic drainage: a new system to monitor air leaks in pediatric population. J Pediatr Surg 2019;54(4):693–695.

2019 Jacobsen K, Talbert S, Boyer JH. The benefits of digital drainage system versus traditional drainage system after robotic-assisted pulmonary lobectomy. J Thorac Dis 2019;11(12): 5328–5335.

2019 Hallifax RJ, Laskawiec-Szkonter M, Rahman NM. Predicting outcomes in primary spontaneous pneumothorax using air leak measurements. Thorax 2019;74:410–412.

2018 Evans JM, Ray A, Dale M, et al. Thopaz+ portable digital system for managing chest drains: A NICE Medical Technology Guidance. Appl Health Econ Health Policy 2019;17(3):285–94.

2018 Batchelor TJP, Rasburn NJ, Abdelnour-Berchtold E, et al. Guidelines for enhanced recovery after lung surgery: recommendations of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERASVR). Society and the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2019;55:91–115.

2018 Zhou J, Lyu M, Chen N, et al. Digital chest drainage is better than traditional chest drainage following pulmonary surgery: a meta-analysis. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2018;54:635–42.

2017 Yeung, C, Ghazel, M, French, D. Forecasting pulmonary air leak duration following lung surgery using transpleural airflow data from a digital pleural drainage device. J Thorac Dis 2018; 10(Suppl 32): 3747–3754.

2016 Pompili C, Salati M, Refai M, et al. Recurrent air leak soon after pulmonary lobectomy: an analysis based on an electronic airflow evaluation. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2016;49:1091–4.

2016 Shiroyama T, Okamoto N, Tamiya M, et al. Effective Management of Persistent Pneumothorax Using a Thopaz Digital Drainage System Combined with an Endobronchial Watanabe Spigot. Intern Med 2016;55:663-5.

2016 Bakhos C, Doelken P, Pupovac S, et al. Management of prolonged pulmonary air leaks with endobronchial valve placement. JSLS 2016;20: e2016.00055.

2016 Costa AD Jr, Bachichi T, Holanda C, Rizzo LA. An initial experience with a digital drainage system during the postoperative period of pediatric thoracic surgery. Jornal Brasileiro De Pneumologia: Publicacao Oficial Da Sociedade Brasileira De Pneumologia E Tisilogia. 2016;42(6):444–6.

2016 Miller DL, Helms GA, Mayfield WR. Digital drainage system reduces hospitalization after video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery lung resection. Ann Thorac Surg 2016;102:955-61.2016Wei B, Cerfolio RJ. Clinical pathway for thoracic surgery in the United States. J Thorac Dis. 2016;8:S29eS36.

2016 Sihoe AD. Uniportal video-assisted thoracic (VATS) lobectomy. Ann Cardiothorac Surg 2016;5:133–44.

2016 Khan AZ, Pillai GG. From 200 BC to 2015 AD: an integration of robotic surgery and Ayurveda/Yoga. J Thorac Dis 2016;8:S84–92.

2016 Sihoe A, Yu P, Lee K, Liu X. Adherence to a clinical pathway for video-assisted thoracic surgery: predictors and clinical importance. Innovations 2016;11:179–86.

2016 Shoji F, Takamori S, Akamine T, et al. Clinical evaluation and outcomes of digital chest drainage after lung resection. Ann Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2016;22(6):354–358.

2016 Refai M, Salati M, Tiberi M, et al. Clinical pathway for thoracic surgery in an Italian centre. J Thorac Dis 2016;8:23-8.

2016 George RS, Papagiannopoulos K. Advances in chest drain management in thoracic disease. J Thorac Dis 2016;8:55-64.

2016 Drahush N, Miller AD, Smith JS, et al. Standardized approach to prolonged air leak reduction after pulmonary resection. Ann Thorac Surg. 2016;101(6):2097–2101.

2015 Lijkendijk M, Licht PB, Neckelmann K. Electronic versus traditional chest tube drainage following lobectomy: a randomized trial. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2015;48:893–8.

2015 Chavarín A., Molins L., Mier J.M., et al. The Role of Ultrasound and Air Leak Measurement in Assessing Lung Expansion after Thoracic Surgery. Surgical Science 2015, 6, 352-357.

2015 Southey D, Pullinger D, Loggos S, et al. Discharge of thoracic patients on portable digital suction: Is it cost-effective? Asian Cardiovasc Thorac Ann 2015;23:832-8.

2015 Brocki BC, Andreasen JJ, Langer D, et al. Postoperative inspiratory muscle training in addition to breathing exercises and early mobilization improves oxygenation in high-risk patients after lung cancer surgery: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2016;49:1483-91.

2015 Gilbert S, McGuire AL, Maghera S, et al. Randomized trial of digital versus analog pleural drainage in patients with or without a pulmonary air leak after lung resection. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2015;150:1243–9.

2015 Pompili C, Xiumè F, Hristova R, et al. Regulated drainage reduces the incidence of recurrence after uniportal video-assisted thoracoscopic bullectomy for primary spontaneous pneumothorax: a propensity case-matched comparison of regulated and unregulated drainage. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2016;49:1127–31.

2015 Cafarotti S, Cusumano G, Giuliani M, et al. Extraanatomical VATS lung resection: the outpatient experience with the aid of a digital chest drain device. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2015;19:3850-4.

2015 Mesa-Guzman M, Periklis P, Niwaz Z, et al. Determining optimal fluid and air leak cut-off values for chest drain management in general thoracic surgery. J Thorac Dis 2015;7:2053-7.

2014 Jablonski S, Brocki M, Wawrzycki M, et al. Efficacy assessment of the drainage with permanent airflow measurement in the treatm

1 National Institute for Health Excellence. Thopaz+ portable digital system for managing chest drains. Medical technologies guidance [MTG37]