Pigtail Catheter Insertion for Pneumothoraces and Simple Pleural Effusions

While rapid tube thoracostomy is still preferred in an unstable patient, pigtail catheters with Heimlich valves are increasingly preferred to large bore chest tubes in the treatment of pneumothoraces and simple pleural effusions due to their less traumatic less painful insertion and lower cost. They also offer decreased risk of hemorrhage in anticoagulated patients or those with bleeding diathesis.