The First Automated Clog Clearance System for 

Cardiac Surgery


This next generation of post-operative mediastinal and pleural management will offer significant benefits to both our practice and our patients.


Jack Boyd, MD -

Clinical Associate Professor; Surgical Director, Advanced Coronary Revascularization Program, Cardiac Surgery,  STANFORD UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER

Thoraguard in Cardiac Surgery


Automated Line Clearing

First and only automated clog clearance system clears proprietary 20 Fr. chest tube every 5 minutes, with no human  manipulation needed


Digital Fluid Measurement

Digitally measures and displays hourly drainage volume and trends to provide objective data for patient monitoring


Self Monitoring

Actively monitors system and alerts care team in the event of abnormal event, such as excess/rapid drainage, line kinks/ disconnection, or other system disruption


Digital Control

Displays data on simple and intuitive touchscreen


Small Bore Chest Tubes

Incorporates soft and flexible small-bore chest tubes for patient comfort

Current Drainage Practice is 



of cardiac surgery patients experience clogged chest tubes, increasing the risk of blood build-up



of patients are affected by complications from fluid build-up in the chest cavity


Sub-Optimal Drainage

Complications from fluid build-up in chest cavity lead to:*

Impairs Outcomes


higher in-hospital mortality rate



day increase in hospital length of stay


higher postoperative transfusion rate



*In patients with retained blood versus those without, based on retrospective analysis of outcomes of 6,909 cardiac surgery patients using conventional chest drains

Society Guidelines Strongly Recommend Maintenance of Chest Tube Patency in Cardiac Surgery

The Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) society is a multidisciplinary group committed to developing evidence-based initiatives and perioperative guidelines in order to reduce complications and speed patient recovery following surgery. Recent evidence-based guidelines for enhanced recovery after cardiac surgery were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Surgery.


The guidelines offer multimodal recommendations across the entire perioperative period, with the maintenance of chest tube patency given the society’s strongest recommendation. Furthermore, they advised against chest tube stripping and breaking the sterile field of chest tubes to remove clots, methods that are frequently used in current practice.



  1. Karimov JH, Gillinov AM, Schenck L, Cook M, Kosty Sweeney D, Boyle EM, et al. Incidence of chest tube clogging after cardiac surgery: a single-center prospective observational study. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2013;44:1029-36.

  2. Balzer F, von Heymann C, Boyle EM, Wernecke KD, Grubitzsch H, Sander M. Impact of retained blood requiring reintervention on outcomes after cardiac surgery. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2016;152(2):595-601

  3. Engelman DT, Ali WB, Williams JB, et al. Guidelines for perioperative care in cardiac surgery: Enhanced Recovery after Surgery Society recommendations. JAMA Surg. 2019;154(8):755-766. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2019.1153.