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.
Thopaz research

The complex needs of healthcare providers were recognized 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.


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reducing hospital costs
reducing length of hospital stay (LOS)
reduced rate of complications
predicting patient outcomes
reducing chest tube duration
Improved chest tube management
higher patient satisfaction
convenience for medical professionals and staff

Year publication [Author, Journal, Year]
2015 C. Pompili et al; Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2015 Sep 26. Recurrent air leak soon after pulmonary lobectomy: an analysis based on an electronic airflow evaluation.
2015 C. Pompili et al; Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2015 Sep 10. 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 A. Linder et al; Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2012 Oct;15(4):622-6. Postoperative chest tube management: snapshot of German diversity.
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?
2009 R. Cerfolio et al; Multimed Man Cardiothorac Surg. 2009 Jan 1;2009(409):mmcts.2007.003129. The quantification of postoperative air leaks.
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