Thoracentesis is a procedure that uses ultrasound to locate a pocket of free fluid within the chest cavity. This assists the pulmonologist in placing a temporary catheter to drain the fluid.
- You will sit upright on an exam table with your back exposed.
- A non-greasy gel will be applied to your skin during the exam.
- The sonographer will use a hand-held transducer (probe) against your back to obtain images of the fluid in your chest.
- The sonographer then shows the pulmonologist the largest pocket of fluid.
- The pulmonologist numbs the area with Lidocaine to aid in any discomfort the procedure causes.
- The pulmonologist then sterilizes the area and places a temporary catheter within the chest.
- You must have labs drawn prior to having this procedure done: PT, PTT, INR.
- The pulmonologist sometimes has the labs already drawn before scheduling this procedure.
- You may eat or drink before this exam.
- Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.
- Bring a prescription from your doctor.
Let the technologist know:
- If you take any medications.
- If you have an allergy to Lidocaine.
- If you have difficulty sitting upright.