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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

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Laura McMullen
Pediatrics 23 years experience
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!
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Nathaniel Evans III
Surgery - Thoracic 21 years experience
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.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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