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Also known as water on the lungs, Pleural effusion is the build-up of excess fluid between the layers of the pleura outside the lungs. The pleura are thin membranes that line the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity that lubricate and aid in breathing. 

Pleural aspiration is a minimally invasive procedure performed to remove the fluid between the lung and the chest wall that accumulates around the lung and causes cough or chest pain. During the process, the doctors insert a tiny needle or tube between the pleural space, i.e. space between the lung and chest wall, to determine the cause of fluid or relieve the symptoms caused by excess fluid build-up in the area.

How is Pleural Aspiration done?
To perform a pleural aspiration, doctors will ask the patient to sit upright on the bed while leaning forward. They will skin the chest with an antiseptic and then administer a local anaesthetic to numb the area.
Afterwards, they'll make a small cut on the chest skin to insert a needle or the thin plastic tube between the pleural space. To be more specific or accurate, doctors may use an ultrasound to see the inside of the chest and guide the needle to the fluid. 

Aspiration is usually performed by a radiologist if an ultrasound is needed during the process. However, a surgeon or physician or general practitioner is also present during the procedure. They will ask the patient to hold their breath while they're draining the excess fluids. After the procedure, they'll dress up the small opening in the skin and a chest X-ray is carried out 24 hours after the process.

What precautions to take before a Pleural Aspiration?
The routine precaution for any medical procedure is not to drink or eat 4 hours before the process. Every medicine that can thin the blood should be stopped as it increases the risk of bleeding. It is also necessary to be aware of your eating habits and prescriptions as they might also cause a complication. Also, do not forget to bring the previous reports for imaging that may help the doctor.

What are the side-effects of Pleural Aspiration? 
The simple after-effects are some bruising or pain in the area of the cut. This pain can be relieved by taking any normal paracetamol or painkiller. The skin will heal in a few days, but a tiny scar will be left.
There might be some risk factors associated with this procedure. However, they happen during the process or immediately after the process so they can be treated by the medical facility immediately. It might include internal and major bleeding from the arteries and veins in the chest or fluid accumulation in the lung. Immediate medical attention will cure the situation leaving you risk-free.

What are the after-effects benefits of pleural aspiration?
The first benefit is breathing comfort as the blockage causing fluid has come out of the chest cavity. All other symptoms like shortness of breath, cough and chest pain will also go away after the procedure. To be sure that they've cured your lung diseases, they'll order to get the fluid tested by a pathologist to determine the cause of accumulation. 

Why Eternal Hospital?
At Eternal Hospital, we have a highly qualified and dedicated team of urologists who are always committed to providing the latest and most advanced medical care to all our patients. Being a trusted name in healthcare, we act compassionately while ensuring confidentiality to those who need it. We have set high standards in patient-centric premium care and outstanding patient safety, and exceptional maintenance in a timely manner. We adhere to the use of up to the minute innovations to offer state-of-the-art treatments to our patients with unparalleled results.

Meet Our Team

Dr. K . K. Sharma

Senior Consultant & Head Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine