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Pleural effusion is an unusual amount of fluid around the lung.
The pleura is a thin membrane that lines the surface of your lungs and the inside of your chest wall. When you have a pleural effusion, fluid builds up in the space between the layers of your pleura.
A wide range of things can cause a pleural effusion. Some of the more common ones are:
Antibiotics for pneumonia, for instance, or diuretics for congestive heart failure.
Large, infected, or inflamed pleural effusions often need to get drained to help you feel better and prevent more problems.
Procedures for treating pleural effusions include:
If the effusion is large, Pleural fluid need for testing, also therapeutic just to ease your symptoms.
Doctor makes a small cut in your chest wall and puts a plastic tube (ICDT) into your pleural space for several days.
If your pleural effusions keep coming back, a long-term catheter through your skin into the pleural space.
Doctor injects an irritating substance (such as talc or doxycycline) through a chest tube into the pleural space. The substance inflames the pleura and chest wall, which then bind tightly to each other as they heal. Pleurodesis can prevent pleural effusions from coming back in many cases.
Surgeons can operate inside the pleural space, removing potentially dangerous inflammation and unhealthy tissue. To do this, your surgeon may make small cuts (thoracoscopy) or a large one (thoracotomy).
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