©Journal of Thoracic Disease. All rights reserved. The paradigm for postoperative care for thoracic surgical patients in the United States has shifted with efforts to reduce hospital length of stay and improve quality of life. The increasing usage of minimally invasive techniques in thoracic surgery has been an important part of this. In this review we will examine our standard practices as well as the evidence behind both general contemporary postoperative care principles and those specific to certain operations.