Will drain tubes piercing the pleura cause pain in the lungs?

Q. Can drain tubes piercing the pleura cause pain in the lungs?

Answered by
Dr. Harsha D. S
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 05, 2023

Hello doctor,

My husband had a pleural effusion in the left side of his chest after having a pulmonary embolism (PE) and then contracting pneumonia, which caused his left lung to collapse. Three drain tubes were inserted into the pleura to drain off the fluids. This all happened seven months back. My husband has been experiencing pain in his left lung area since. Is this normal? Could the drain tubes piercing the pleura be the cause of the pain he is still experiencing? If yes, will it heal over time or does the holes stay? I have read that the nerve endings are in the plurea for the lungs, could the pockets of fluid he had cause nerve damage?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I went through your husband's history provided by you. By PE I assume you are referring to pulmonary embolism and not pericardial effusion. Are the tubes still present? If so the tube rubbing the pleura while taking a deep breath can cause the pain. Pulmonary embolism which may have cut off blood supply to part of the lung can cause the pain. If the tubes have been removed, the holes will heal in a couple of weeks. That will not cause the pain. In the case of pleural effusions, when they heal, it can cause some thickening of the outer layer of pleura which will limit the expansion of the lungs to some extent. This thickening can cause some pain and discomfort on deep breaths. This may persist for some time. In majority, this pain diminishes over time.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
Is CT abdomen and chest suggestive of Tb?

.. hear about your brother's symptoms. I have checked the attached reports thoroughly (attachment removed to protect patient identity), the pleural effusion and the enlarged lymph nodes could be due to many causes, although TB is the most likely diagnosis   Read full

What should I do for pulmonary embolism?

.. getting recurrent unprovoked idiopathic pulmonary embolism (PE). The optimal duration of anticoagulation therapy after pulmonary embolism depends on the risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism after anticoagulation is discontinued.   Read full

I have pain in ribs and breathing problems. Is it a sign of lung cancer?

.. are seen in the following conditions: 1. Heart diseases. 2. Pneumonia or Pleural Effusion. 3. Acidity or muscular pain. Now to be on the safer side, I would recommend you to get a Chest x-ray and ECG done.   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

PCOS and Liver Problems
The hormonal imbalances in polycystic ovary syndrome could cause liver diseases. Read the article to know the relationship between these medical conditions.  Read more»
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Lateralization Technique
The inferior alveolar nerve lateralization technique is a surgical lateralization technique to reposition the nerve. Read the article to know more about this.  Read more»
COVID-19 and Ebola: Similarities and Differences
This article gives a comparison and broader overview of the outbreak of the two deadliest diseases that showed a greater incidence over the last two decades.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Pulmonologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.