Thoracic drainage research

Medela has a long history of supporting medical research through partnerships with leading clinicians, researchers, hospitals and research institutes. The Thopaz and Thopaz+ chest drainage system by Medela has been the focus of a number of research studies.
Medela research thoracic drainage

The complex needs of healthcare providers were recognised by Medela and prompted the company to support its customers by exploring the following:

  • streamlining clinical care;
  • improving clinical outcomes;
  • proving efficiency via cost-benefit analyses.

One of our continued aims is it to work with medical professionals and healthcare staff to demonstrate evidence-based success when using Medela chest drainage systems.

Latest research findings

Modern chest drainage systems by Medela have been the focus of a number of research studies. For more information, please find a list of recent publications below.


Publication Matrix

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Hospital costs
Length of hospital stay (LOS)
Rate of complications
Predicting outcomes and pathways
Air leak duration
Duration of chest tube placement
Patient satisfaction
Ease of use
Enhancing mobilisation
Standarization of chest drainage management
Clinical decision-making
Thoracic paediatric

Year Publication [Author, Journal, Year]
2015 S Gilbertet al; J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2015 Nov;150(5):1243-9. Randomized trial of digital versus analog pleural drainage in patients with or without a pulmonary air leak after lung resection.
2017 Sebastien Gilbert et al: Predicting Pulmonary Air Leak Resolution Using Transpleural Airflow Data after Lung Resection
2016 Sihoe AD et al; Innovations (Phila). 2016 May-Jun;11(3):179-86. Adherence to a Clinical Pathway for Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery: Predictors and Clinical Importance.
2016 C Bakhos et al; JSLS. 2016 Jul-Sep;20(3). Management of Prolonged Pulmonary Air Leaks With Endobronchial Valve Placement
2016 T Shiroyama et al; Intern Med. 2016;55(6):663-5. Effective Management of Persistent Pneumothorax Using a Thopaz® Digital Drainage System Combined with an Endobronchial Watanabe Spigot.
2014 S Tsim et al; Respir Med Case Rep. 2014 Dec 16;14:27-9.Rescue therapy using an endobronchial valve and digital air leak monitoring in Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis.
2016 F Shoji et al; Ann Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2016 Dec 20;22(6):354-358. Clinical Evaluation and Outcomes of Digital Chest Drainage after Lung Resection.
2016 A da Silva Costa et al; J Bras Pneumol. 2016 Nov-Dec;42(6):444-446. An initial experience with a digital drainage system during the postoperative period of pediatric thoracic surgery.
2016 N Drahush et al; Ann Thorac Surg. 2016 Jun;101(6):2097-101. Standardized Approach to Prolonged Air Leak Reduction After Pulmonary Resection.
2016 M Mesa-Guzman et al; J Thorac Dis. 2015 Nov;7(11):2053-7. Determining optimal fluid and air leak cut off values for chest drain management in general thoracic surgery.
2016 RS George et al; J Thorac Dis. 2016 Feb;8(Suppl 1):S55-64. Advances in chest drain management in thoracic disease.
2016 M. Refai et al; J Thorac Dis. 2016 Feb;8(Suppl 1):S23-8. Clinical pathway for thoracic surgery in an Italian centre.
2016 B Wei et al; J Thorac Dis. 2016 Feb;8(Suppl 1):S29-36. Clinical pathway for thoracic surgery in the United States.
2015 BC Brocki et al; Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2016 May;49(5):1483-91. Postoperative inspiratory muscle training in addition to breathing exercises and early mobilization improves oxygenation in high-risk patients after lung cancer surgery: a randomized contro
2016 AZ Khan et al; J Thorac Dis. 2016 Feb;8(Suppl 1):S84-92. From 200 BC to 2015 AD: an integration of robotic surgery and Ayurveda/Yoga.
2016 A. Sihoe et al; Ann Cardiothorac Surg. 2016 Mar;5(2):133-44, Uniportal video-assisted thoracic (VATS) lobectomy.
2015 S. Cafarotti et al; Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2015 Oct;19(20):3850-4, Extra-anatomical VATS lung resection: the outpatient experience with the aid of a digital chest drain device.
2016 D. Miller etal;Ann Thorac Surg. 2016 Sep;102(3):955-61. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.03.089. Epub 2016 May 25.Digital Drainage System Reduces Hospitalization After Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery Lung Resection.
2016 C. Pompili et al; Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2016 Apr;49(4):1091-4. Recurrent air leak soon after pulmonary lobectomy: an analysis based on an electronic airflow evaluation.
2016 C. Pompili et al; Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2016 Apr;49(4):1127-31. Regulated drainage reduces the incidence of recurrence after uniportal VATS bullectomy for primary spontaneous pneumothorax: a propensity case matched comparison versus unregulated drainage
2015 D. Southey et al; Asian Cardiovasc Thorac Ann. 2015 Sep;23(7):832-8. Discharge of thoracic patients on portable digital suction: Is it cost-effective?
2015 A. Chavarín et al; Surgical Science, 2015, 6, 352-357. The Role of Ultrasound and Air Leak Measurement in Assessing Lung Expansion after Thoracic Surgery.
2015 AL McGuire et al; Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2015 Oct;21(4):403-7. Digital versus analogue pleural drainage phase 1: prospective evaluation of interobserver reliability in the assessment of pulmonary air leaks.
2015 M. Lijkendijk et al; Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2015 Dec;48(6):893-8. Electronic versus traditional chest tube drainage following lobectomy: a randomized trial
2014 C. Pompili et al; Ann Thorac Surg. 2014 Aug;98(2):490-6; discussion 496-7. Multicenter international randomized comparison of objective and subjective outcomes between electronic and traditional chest drainage systems.
2014 S. Jablonski et al., Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Sep;62(6):509-15 Efficacy assessment of the drainage with permanent airflow measurement in the treatment of pneumothorax with air leak.
2013 A. Brunelli et al; Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2013 May;43(5):899-904. Regulated tailored suction vs regulated seal: a prospective randomized trial on air leak duration.
2013 Marjanski et al; Thoracic Surgery 2013. The implementation of a digital chest drainage system significantly reduces complication rates after lobectomy– a randomized clinical trial.
2013 F. Leo et al., Ann Thorac Surg. 2013 Oct;96(4):1234-9. Does the external Pleural suction Reduce Prolonged Air Leak After lung Resection? Result from the AirINTTrial After 500 Randomized cases.
2013 RC. Boshuizen et al., J Bronchology Interv Pulmonol. 2013 Jul;20(3):200-5 Pleural pressure swing and lung expansion after malignant pleural effusion drainage.
2012 RC. Boshuizen et al., J Bronchology Interv Pulmonol. 2013 Jul;20(3):200-5 Pleural pressure swing and lung expansion after malignant pleural effusion drainage.
2012 WS. Jenkins et al; BMJ Case Rep. 2012 Jun 8;2012. The use of a portable digital thoracic suction Thopaz drainage system for the management of a persistent spontaneous secondary pneumothorax in a patient with underlying interstitial lung disease.
2012 D. Danitsch et al; Nurs Times. 2012 Mar 13-19;108(11):16-7 Benefits of digital thoracic drainage systems
2012 M. Refai et al., Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2012 Apr;41(4):831-3 The values of intrapleural pressure before the removal of chest tube in non-complicated pulmonary lobectomies.
2011 S. Rathinam et al; J Cardiothorac Surg. 2011 Apr 21;6:59. Thopaz portable suction systems in thoracic Surgery: An end user assessment and feedback in a tertiary unit.
2011 C. Pompili et al; Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2011 Nov;13(5):490-3. Impact of the learning curve in the use of a novel electronic chest drainage system after pulmonary lobectomy: a case-matched analysis on the duration of chest tube usage.
2010 JM. Mier et al; CIR ESP. 2010;87(6):385–389. The benefits of digital air leak assessment after pulmonary resection: Prospective and comparative study.
2010 R. Cerfolio et al.,Thorac Surg Clin. 2010 Aug;20(3):413-20. Digital and smart chest drainage systems to monitor air leaks: the birth of new era?
2010 R. Cerfolio et al; Multimed Man Cardiothorac Surg. 2009 Jan 1;2009(409):mmcts.2007.003129. The quantification of postoperative air leaks.