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.