Thoracentesis is the removal of pleural fluid from the pleural cavity with a needle and syringe. The person is positioned sitting upright with arms raised and supported. A local anesthetic is applied and then the doctor inserts the needle into the pleural cavity and the sample is removed.
Yes. Sometimes it will be performed to drain excess pleural fluid – to relieve pressure on the lungs. A catheter tube may be used to drain larger amounts of fluid and to drain recurrent fluid accumulations.
This article was last reviewed on July 8, 2012. | This article was last modified on May 14, 2015.
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