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What is Thoracentesis?

Thoracentesis is a clinical procedure used for fluid removal or air from the pleural space, that is a space between the membranes lining the lungs and the chest wall. Thoracentesis is usually done by a pulmonologist or an interventional radiologist. It is often considered to be a safe procedure, The risks and benefits of thoracentesis are assessed depending on the seriousness of the case, understanding the patient condition and clinical history.

Thoracentesis Benefits

Some of the potential benefits of thoracentesis include:

  • Symptom relief
  • Diagnostic information
  • Therapeutic interventions
  • Preoperative preparation
  • Palliative care

Purpose of Thoracentesis

The purpose of thoracentesis involves relieving the symptoms that are the result of an accumulation of excess fluid or air in the pleural space and obtaining a fluid sample for diagnostic purposes. Thoracentesis is often performed for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. As a diagnostic method, it permits the evaluation of the fluid collected, as it can help in determining the fluid accumulation cause such as infection, inflammation, cancer, or heart failure. As a therapeutic procedure, thoracentesis is useful in relieving symptoms like breath shortness, discomfort by fluid or air removal.

What happens during Thoracentesis Procedure?

During thoracentesis, a healthcare provider involves using a catheter to puncture the chest wall and accessing the pleural space. The patient is often positioned in an upright or slightly leaning forward position with arms resting on a pillow or table. Skin cleaning is initiated and numbed with a local anesthetic to reduce the feeling of discomfort.

After the area is numbed, the healthcare provider starts inserting the needle or catheter through the chest wall, between the ribs, and into the pleural space. Next, the draining of the excess fluid or air is initiated through the needle or catheter into a collection container. The procedure might involve assessing the vital signs of a patient which includes blood pressure and oxygen levels, to ensure safety.

What happens after the surgery?

After the procedure, the healthcare team ensures removing the needle or catheter, and pressure is applied to the puncture site to avert the risk of bleeding. To cover the site, a bandage is applied. The obtained fluid is sent to a laboratory for further evaluation, and the results are used to assist for further treatment.

Thoracentesis Complications

While thoracentesis is known to be a safe procedure, there are probable complications that can arise. Here are some of the thoracentesis complications which include:

  • Pneumothorax
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Re-expansion Pulmonary Edema
  • Nerve or organ injury
  • Vasovagal reaction

Why should you choose Rukmani Birla Hospital for the Thoracentesis procedure?

Rukmani Birla Hospital, Jaipur is among the eminent multi-special hospitals operating in the city for decades. The hospital has integrated the most amazing and experienced doctors including other staff members. We ensure dedicating ourselves to offering exceptional and satisfactory patient care. The primary objective behind the inception of this hospital is to make healthcare services available to everyone at an affordable cost including the finest treatment. So, if you are looking for a thoracentesis procedure, then get in touch with our most skilled and highly talented professionals at RBH.


How often can a thoracentesis be done?

Thoracentesis procedure can be done as much as frequently required for certain conditions 

When to do thoracentesis?

When the excessive fluid is of unknown etiology, there is a need for thoracentesis procedure.