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Thoracentesis and Paracentesis are procedures for removing fluid buildup in the body. Thoracentesis refers to the removal of fluid from the space between the lungs and the chest wall, called the pleural cavity. Paracentesis refers to removing fluid from the abdominal cavity.

An accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity and the abdomen is a common side effect of certain forms of cancer such as lung cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer to name a few. Other causes of fluid buildup are infection, malnutrition, kidney disease, heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver.

The Beverly Hills Cancer Center routinely performs among the most advanced Thoracentesis and Paracentesis Los Angeles has to offer. Using state of the art imaging available on-site, doctors are able to perform the procedure with real time imaging of the area involved thus avoiding complications.

Thoracentesis Procedure

Fluid buildup in the chest can make breathing difficult and can also distress the heart. Symptoms of fluid accumulating in the chest are:

  • Dry cough
  • Chest feels heavy
  • Cannot lie flat
  • Cannot exercise
  • Shortness of breath

Thoracentesis is a minimally invasive procedure performed on an outpatient basis using a local anesthetic. When fluid accumulates in the pleural cavity, it crowds the lungs preventing a full breath. Pressure on the heart is another concern when the lungs are not functioning at capacity. Struggling to take a deep breath burdens the heart by making it work harder to supply oxygen to the blood.

Thoracentesis is done by inserting a thin needle equipped with a drainage tube into the pleural cavity. Once the needle is removed, the plastic tube stays in place allowing the excess fluid to drain. Using an Ultrasound scan to guide the safe and exact placement of the needle avoids complications and provides among the best Thoracentesis available in Los Angeles.

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Risks of Thoracentesis

One of the risks of Thoracentesis is a condition called Pneumothorax commonly known as a collapsed lung. This condition occurs when air is introduced into the pleural space between the lungs and the chest wall. Air pushing against the lung will cause it to collapse if left untreated.

At the Beverly Hills Cancer Center these relatively routine procedures are done using cutting-edge technology to guide placement of the needle to avoid accidentally nicking the lung. Another safeguard is using specially designed Thoracentesis needles to insure that air does not leak back into the area through the needle or the drainage tube.

Doctor working  on a patient

Paracentesis Procedure

Fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity can cause pain and put pressure on internal organs. Cancer patients often experience fluid buildup in the abdomen and should this occur, the fluid needs to be drained to decrease stress on the organs. Symptoms of fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity can include:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Feeling bloated or overly full
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Indigestion
  • Blood in the stool
  • Swelling in the legs or ankles
  • Loss of appetite

Paracentesis is performed on an outpatient basis using a local anesthetic to numb the injection site. As in Thoracentesis, a specialized needle is inserted into the abdominal cavity using Ultrasound imaging to assist the doctor when placing the needle. The needle and drainage tube used is specifically engineered to allow the drainage tube to remain in place after the needle is withdrawn. This specially designed needle and tube combination ensures that bacteria do not enter the abdominal cavity while doing the procedure.

Risks of Paracentesis

Bleeding is a risk of Paracentesis due to the close proximity of organs in the abdominal cavity. Using advanced imaging greatly reduces this risk due to the real time image of needle placement provided through Ultrasound. The Beverly Hills Cancer Center strives to provide among the most effective Paracentesis Los Angeles can provide. With their state of the art equipment and fully accredited facility, patients can be confident that their safety and comfort is the first concern of every staff member.

Benefits of Thoracentesis and Paracentesis

Removing excess fluid from vital organs will greatly improve comfort and ability to lead a normal life while undergoing cancer treatment. Fluid accumulation is a common side effect of certain cancers and should this occur, these procedures are readily available.

The fluid can be tested to determine the cause of accumulation if not known, and to rule out other causes such as infection. Should there be other conditions identified through testing the fluid, treatment can begin immediately.

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To schedule an appointment, please call Beverly Hills Cancer Center in Beverly Hills, California at (877) 320-5131 or Click the link below to access our Online Appointment Request

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