Placement of a Thoracentesis Needle

Placement of a thoracentesis needle

In thoracentesis, the doctor removes fluid from the space between the lungs and the chest wall (the pleural cavity). The doctor inserts a needle (and sometimes a plastic catheter) through the chest wall to remove and examine the fluid.

Current as of: June 9, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Robert L. Cowie, MB, ChB, MD, MSc, FCP(SA), MFOM - Pulmonology
David C. Stuesse, MD - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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