(Pleural Fluid Aspiration; Pleural Tap)
- Therapeutic thoracentesis—to relieve the symptoms of fluid accumulation
- Diagnostic thoracentesis—to test for the cause of the fluid build-up
Reasons for Procedure
- A collapsed lung
- Fluid building up again
- Damage to the lung, liver or spleen
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Description of the Procedure
|Placement of Thoracentesis Needle|
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How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the insertion site
- Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Pain when taking a deep breath
American Lung Association http://www.lung.org
American Thoracic Society http://www.thoracic.org
The Canadian Institutes of Health Information http://www.cihi.ca
The Canadian Lung Association http://www.lung.ca
Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine . 16th ed. McGraw-Hill; 2005.
Mason RJ. Murray & Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine . 4th ed. WB Saunders; 2005.
Roberts JR. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine . 4th ed. WB Saunders; 2004.
What is thoracentesis? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/thor/. Updated February 24, 2012. Accessed April 10, 2013.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ : Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 03/15/2013 -