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Before thoracentesis, your doctor will talk to you about the procedure and how to prepare for it. Tell your doctor if you are taking any medicines or have allergies to any medicines, including anesthetics.
Thoracentesis is a procedure to remove excess fluid in the space between the lungs and the chest wall. A lot of extra fluid can press on the lungs, making it hard to breathe. This is done so that breathing can get easy.
Thoracentesis is done to help find the cause of a pleural effusion. It also may be done to help you breathe easier if there's a lot of fluid in the pleural space.
After thoracentesis, you may need a chest x ray to check for any lung problems. Your blood pressure and breathing will be checked for up to a few hours to make sure you don't have complications.
Thoracentesis usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes. If there's a lot of fluid, it may take up to 45 minutes.
The risks of thoracentesis usually are minor and get better on their own, or they're easily treated.
Thoracentesis (THOR-a-sen-TE-sis) is a procedure to remove excess fluid in the space between the lungs and the chest wall.
The fluid removed during thoracentesis will be studied to find the cause of the pleural effusion.