The routine use of postoperative pleural cavity drainage after the Nuss procedure is not widely accepted, and its limited use depends on experience. This study analyzed the influence of pleural drainage in the surgical treatment of patients with pectus excavatum on the prevention of pneumothorax and the efficacy of using drainage after a corrective operation.From November 2013 to May 2015, 103 consecutive patients with pectus excavatum, aged 11 to 39 years, underwent surgical treatment by the Nuss procedure. Patients were prospectively randomized into two groups. In 58 patients, a 28F chest tube was routinely introduced into the right pleural cavity during procedure for 2 consecutive days (group I). In the remaining 45 patients, the drain was not inserted (group II).No statistically significant differences were found between the study groups, including sex, age, body mass index, or clinical subjective and objective factors in the preoperative evaluation. Group II manifested more complications in the early postoperative period; however, this was not statistically significant (group I vs group II; p = 0.0725). Pneumothorax requiring additional chest tube placement was statistically significant (group I vs group II; p = 0.0230). Other complications were also more frequent among patients from group II, although this did not reach statistical significance. Follow up was 22.9 ± 6.4 months.Routine drainage of the pleural cavity during the Nuss procedure significantly reduces the incidence of postoperative pneumothorax and should be considered as a routine procedure.
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