Discharge Instructions

If you have any questions after you are discharged home, please call our office at 713-441-5177.

Signs and Symptoms

You should call us if you develop fever, chills, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or worsening productive cough.

Wound Care

You may have a bandage or gauze on the chest tube site. Please remove all bandages or gauze from the site after 24 hours. If fluid drains from the site, please cover it with a clean gauze pad and secure it with tape. Change the gauze when it is soiled. Once drainage stops, you may remove the dressing. If the drainage is persistent, please call us. You may have a stitch at the chest tube site. If so, the stitch will be removed in clinic about 10 days after the chest tube was removed.

You should wash the incision daily with soap and water. Please do not put any ointment on the incision. If there is dermabond on the incision, you may remove it after two weeks or when it becomes loose.

If the wound turns red, opens up, or there is pus coming out of the wound, please call our office.


You should continue with deep breathing and coughing exercises when you return home. You should continue to walk at least three times a day and sit in a chair instead of lying in bed during the day when you get home.

You should not lift any heavy objects for 6 weeks.

It is normal to feel tired after surgery. It will take several weeks to be able to return to your normal routine.

Pain Medication

We recommend pre-emptive pain control. Typically, we recommend the following medications for pre-emptive pain control:

  • Aleve—1 pill two times a day for 3 days.
  • Tylenol—1g three times a day for 5 days.
  • Neurontin—1 pill three times a day for 7 days (this will be prescribed to you if you had chest surgery).

Please call the office if this is not enough. After 7 days, take Tylenol as needed for pain.

Follow-up Appointment

You should make an appointment to be seen in the clinic about 4 to 5 weeks after the surgery.