You are scheduled for a Thoracentesis, removal of fluid from your chest cavity outside of the lungs. Removal of the fluid can help in relieving the shortness of breath, expand the lungs, and help diagnosing the lung conditions by analyzing the fluid.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR IT
You can eat or drink normally on the day of the procedure. Take all your medications including Insulin on the day of the procedure.
On the day of the procedure, bring your current medications.
Dress in comfortable clothes and leave your jewelry and other valuables at home.
Have a ride available to take you home. You will not be able
to drive that day.
Tell us about any medications you are taking, especially Aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Arthritis medications, Blood thinners such as Coumadin, Warfarin, Pradaxa or Insulin. You need to stop taking Aspirin, Arthritis medications, and Blood thinners 5 days before the procedure.
The pocket of fluid will be located using an ultrasound. Local anesthesia will be given to numb skin and muscles. A needle will be introduced into the pocket of fluid and the fluid will be drained and sent to the lab for analysis.
AFTER THE PROCEDURE
The examination takes 30 minutes to an hour. A chest x-ray will be obtained after the procedure. Afterwards, you will spend approximately one hour in the recovery area. You will be monitored carefully. If there are no complications, you will be discharged home at that time. Your doctor will explain the results soon after the exam and arrange for a follow up visit in a few days. Most patients can resume their usual activities after 24 hours unless the doctor instructs them otherwise.
After the procedure, you should not drive for 24 hours.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS AFTER THE PROCEDURE
If you have any of the following, go to the nearest emergency room:
Excessive bleeding at the procedure site
Chest pain or discomfort