The pleural space is a small area between the outside of your lungs and ribs. Thoracentesis ultrasound helps doctors remove pleural fluid with a soft, hollow tube called a catheter.
Removing this fluid can reduce pressure and discomfort in the chest area. A sample of the fluid is then sent to the lab to find out what’s causing the buildup.
About this procedure
You'll sit at the edge of a bed with your upper body leaning on a table in front of you. We'll use ultrasound to find the safest place in the chest to get a fluid sample.
We'll clean the skin area with surgical soap and use a local anesthetic to numb the area.
Next, we'll put in the thoracentesis needle and catheter. The needle and catheter will be attached to a small bottle to help drain the fluid. After enough fluid has been drained, we'll remove the catheter and cover the area with a bandage.
We may do an X-ray after the exam to make sure the exam didn't cause any problems for you. X-rays can create a picture of the inside of the body in different shades of black and white.OR
You shouldn't take any blood thinners, including vitamin E and aspirin, for one week before your exam. Please talk to your doctor before you stop taking any of your medications.
The day before your exam
You'll need a prothrombin time (PT) test. It measures platelets and other parts of the blood to see how quickly your blood clots (stops bleeding). PT results are given in a measurement called INR (international normalized ratio).
On the day of your exam
Wear a comfortable two-piece outfit to your appointment.OR