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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Thoracentesis for lung cancer

Thoracentesis for lung cancer

Some patients with lung cancer accumulate excess fluid in the space that surrounds the lungs. Draining that fluid with thoracentesis may help restore fuller, more comfortable breathing and supports other treatment approaches.

What is thoracentesis?

Thoracentesis is a procedure to drain excess fluid from the chest cavity, the space that surrounds the lungs.

With thoracentesis, a catheter is inserted through the chest wall into the space around the lungs (pleural space), often with ultrasound guidance. The excess fluid is then drained.