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A 47-year-old male asked:

Is thoracentesis a safe procedure for 87 year old male. little fluid build up in lungs. lung doctor and care team debating lung doctor in hospital told me its coming down with meds not really needed. but hospital doctor wants to do it to expedite?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Clarence Grim
Endocrinology 59 years experience
Tough to assess "safeness" without seeing you friend. "Medicine is not easy" I was once told early in my career. Now you can see why. I would request a meeting with the Dr. in charge. There are pros and cons for both approaches. Discuss with them and patient if you are part of his care folks.
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Dr. Hiep Le
Dr. Hiep Leanswered
Nephrology and Dialysis 44 years experience
If the etiology of effusion is known and it does not cause symptoms, thoracentesis is not necessary. However, if doctor needs the fluid sample for an accurate diagnosis then treatment, it needs to be done. The safety depends on who does the procedure and how big the effusion is. Risk is higher if the effusion is small. If it is just a little, it should not be done technically.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Nov 10, 2021
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