Pulmonologists | Spartanburg South Carolina
Appointments: 864-573-6320

Thoracentesis

Thoracentesis

Thoracentesis is a procedure to remove fluid from the space between the lining of the outside of the lungs (pleura) and the wall of the chest.

How the Test is Performed

A small area of skin on your back is cleaned. Numbing medicine (local anesthetic) is injected in this area.

A needle is placed through the skin and muscles of the chest wall into the space around the lungs, called the pleural space. Fluid is collected and may be sent to a laboratory for testing (pleural fluid analysis).

How to Prepare for the Test

No special preparation is needed before the test. A chest x-ray will be performed before and after the test.

Do not cough, breathe deeply, or move during the test to avoid injury to the lung.

How the Test Will Feel

You will sit on a bed or on the edge of a chair or bed. Your head and arms will rest on a table.

The skin around the procedure site is cleaned and the area is draped. A local numbing medicine (anesthetic) is injected into the skin. The thoracentesis needle is inserted above the rib into the pleural space.

You will feel a stinging sensation when the local anesthetic is injected. You may feel pain or pressure when the needle is inserted into the pleural space.

Tell your health care provider if you feel shortness of breath or chest pain.