Our interventional pulmonologists use medical pleuroscopy to examine and diagnose issues in the lungs, perform biopsies of the pleural space, relieve pleural effusion (abnormal fluid buildup), and administer treatments.
During this minimally invasive procedure, our doctors insert a pleuroscope (a thin tube-like scope equipped with a camera) through a small incision in the chest wall. The lung’s pleural cavity is then visible on a video monitor.
Medical pleuroscopy (also known as medical thoracoscopy) allows us to:
- Inspect the pleural space
- Obtain lung tissue samples for analysis
- Drain excess fluid around the lungs
- Perform a pleurodesis and other therapeutic interventions
- Inject medications into the pleural space
After the procedure, the lung is reinflated and the incisions are closed. In some cases, a drainage tube may be left for a period of time to allow any fluid or air to drain from the chest.
Medical pleuroscopy differs from video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) in that it is performed under moderate sedation without the need for intubation or single-lung ventilation.
Relieving pleural effusion
Pleural effusion can cause pain, shortness of breath and other complications. Medical pleuroscopy can help to remove excess fluid around the lungs and restore more comfortable breathing. It can also help to prevent the recurrence of fluid accumulation.