Placement of a thoracentesis needle

Picture of the placement of a thoracentesis needle

In thoracentesis, the doctor removes fluid from the space between the lungs and the chest wall (the pleural cavity). The doctor inserts a needle (and sometimes a plastic catheter) through the chest wall to remove and examine the fluid.

Last Updated: July 29, 2009

Author: Maria Essig

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Robert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology

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