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Pleural Interventions

Pleural interventions (also called chest interventions) are procedures used to diagnose and treat abnormalities of the pleura (membranes that line the lung and chest wall) and pleural space (area between the lining of the lung and the chest wall). Pleural effusion is one such condition where excess fluid collects in the pleural space.

There are three types of pleural interventions:

  • Thoracentesis: involves using a needle and syringe to remove excess fluid. The needle is inserted into the pleural space, and the syringe is used to draw the fluid out. Once removed, the fluid can be examined under a microscope. Thoracentesis can relieve pressure in the lungs and treat symptoms such as pain or shortness of breath. When examined, the removed fluid may also help doctors to determine why the buildup occurred.
  • Pleurodesis: involves injecting medication into the pleura that shrinks the space between the membranes and prevents the buildup of fluid from occurring.
  • Pleural biopsy: involves using a needle to remove a tissue sample from the pleura. This sample can then be examined to determine the cause of an abnormality within the pleura. Conditions that may be diagnosed using a pleural biopsy include cancer, tuberculosis, and infections by viruses, fungi, or parasites.

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