A pleural tap is often carried out to drain the excess fluid build up in the pleural space at the back of the chest. The CT scan guided Pleural tapping is also carried out to determine the source of infection behind the fluid build up as well as a diagnostic tool to effectively diagnose a few disorders, like – Cancer tumors Pneumonia Chronic lung diseases Congestive heart failure Cardio issues
If you are experiencing sharp discomfort each time you take a deep breath or find it hard to even lie down on one side, then you need to consult with your doctor right away. It is vital that you do so right away as this can be indicative of more serious health issues.
Your physician would first review your current symptoms, as well as your complete medical profile; after a complete review he would order for a Thoracentesis to be carried out. Thoracentesis or pleural tap is often done once it is determined that your pleural space, the gap between your chest and lungs, is filled with fluid. Your doctor would order the test to be carried out to determine the causative factors behind the fluid accumulation in the pleural space as well as to provide you with immediate temporary relief from your current symptoms.
You do not have to undergo any special prep for the CT guided pleural tapping, but you would be required to inform your doctor if you are currently taking any medications on your own to alleviate your current symptoms, whether you are pregnant or are allergic to certain medications.
This test is mainly used to drain excessive fluid buildup in the pleural sac as well as to determine the reason for the same.
Your doctor would first ask you to disrobe, and wear a hospital gown; it is after this, he would request that you lie down on your side so that he has easy access to your chest area. A CT scan would be carried out to determine the location of the pleural fluid and to determine the target area. Once the CT scan is done, your doctor would then use a numbing agent so that you do not feel any pain, and then using a long needle, he would insert the same between your ribs and into your pleural sac to drain the fluid collected there. The pleural fluid would then be transferred to a sterile container and sent to the lab for processing.
The lab would process the same and carry out various tests, the results of which should become available in a short while. If your doctor requires a culture to be done, then this can take a day or two more. Once he reviews the results, he should have all the information for an accurate diagnosis and can provide you with an effective treatment for the same.