Thoracentesis is a procedure to remove fluid from the space between the lining of the outside of the lungs (pleura) and the wall of the chest.
No special preparation is needed before the test. A chest x-ray will be performed before and after the test. Do not cough, breathe deeply, or move during the test to avoid injury to the lung.
Before thoracentesis, your doctor will talk to you about the procedure and how to prepare for it. Tell your doctor if you:
Also, certain conditions may increase the difficulty of thoracentesis. Let your doctor know if you have:
A chest X-ray is usually done before the procedure. Your doctor may order certain blood tests, such as a complete blood count (CBC) and clotting factors, before your procedure.Thoracentesis is not a safe or appropriate procedure for some patients. After talking with your doctor, he or she will determine whether you are a good candidate for thoracentesis. Patients who have had recent lung surgery may have scarring, which can make the procedure difficult.
Patients who should not undergo thoracentesis include:
As with any surgical procedure, complications can occur. Some possible complications may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Thoracentesis is contraindicated in certain bleeding conditions.
There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor prior to the procedure.
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