Thoracentesis is an invasive process to remove fluids in lungs and treat pleural effusion. Due to accumulation of water in lungs, it becomes difficult for membranes inside the lung to inflate properly leading to breathlessness and pain. If one experiences these symptoms, it is advised to immediately consult a healthcare professional. Thoracentesis is an effective method to treat pleural effusion as it involves a needle which is put inside the pleural space through chest to drain the accumulated fluid. This complete process takes between 10 to 25 minutes depending upon the amount of fluid in lungs. After the fluid has been drained, the insertion site is covered with a bandage and the patient is asked to follow up after few weeks. A cardiothoracic surgeon upon diagnosis and evaluation of your condition may suggest such a surgery.
As is the case with every invasive procedure, Thoracentesis also has some side effects such as – pain, bleeding, pneumothorax and the risk of an infection. Although effective, Thoracentesis is not recommended as a method for pleural effusion treatment for people with a bleeding disorder or patients with a heart condition. People who undergo Thoracentesis as a means of pleural effusion treatment live a normal life after its completion. Albeit strenuous tasks and intensive physical activity should be avoided until recovery starts. After monitoring the sample of the fluid in lungs of a patient, doctors can get to the root cause and possible complications. So do not hesitate to consult a cardiothoracic surgeon or pulmonologist at the very onset of suspicion of the disease.
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