A member asked:

How does a doctor perform a thoracentesis? is it the same thing as needle aspiration? my father might have lung cancer and was told that he would likely need a thoracentesis. i'd like to know some more about the procedure so i know what to expect when i g

4 doctors weighed in across 2 answers
Dr. Laura McMullen answered

Specializes in Pediatrics

A : A thoracentesis is a needle aspiration of air or fluid in the space between the lungs and the chest wall. It is often used for diagnostic or treatment purposes. Below i've linked to a website that gives really good in-depth information about the procedure and what to expect. I hope it is able to answer most of your questions. Good luck to you and your dad!

Answered 10/3/2016


Dr. Nathaniel Evans III answered

Specializes in Surgery - Thoracic

Thoracentesis: Thoracentesis is a procedure that allows removal of fluid from the pleural space (the space between the lungs and the rib cage). Normally there should be little or no fluid there. If fluid does accumulate a physician can insert a needle between the ribs (under local anesthesia) and drain some or all of the fluid. The fluid can then be tested to see what caused its accumulation.

Answered 7/31/2013



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