Brief Report

Efficacy of percutaneous pigtail catheters for thoracostomy at bedside

Fahad Aziz, Sudheer Penupolu, David Flores


Objective: Given the potential morbidity of traditional chest tube insertion, use of pigtail is desirable. The purpose of this case series is to determine the efficacy of bedside pigtail thoracostomy catheters in Adult population by using bedside ultrasound by the pulmonologists.

Methods: It is a retrospective case series, which describes the importance of bedside pigtail catheters placements for emergent symptomatic relief for the patients. Predicting a successful drainage, procedure is a complex and multifactorial process based on size, location, character and configuration of the abscess.

Results: Our experience shows that the use of standard size (7-8.5 F) pigtail catheters is usually very successful in draining of the pleural fluids. Less time consumption, lower cost and bedside technique makes it superior to conventional chest tube placement in many aspects.

Conclusion: Percutaneous pigtail catheters are useful in the drainage of pleural fluids. The pigtail catheters can be placed successful at bedside by the pulmonologists under ultrasound guidance with minimal complications and marked clinical improvement. The cost effectives of this procedure over the conventional chest tube placement, makes this procedure more desirable in most of the hospital settings.

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