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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Medical pleuroscopy

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 and pleural tissue for analysis.
  • Drain excess fluid around the lungs.
  • Perform pleurodesis and other pleural therapeutic interventions.
  • Inject medications in 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 may cause pain, shortness of breath and other complications. Medical pleuroscopy may help remove excess fluid around the lungs and restore more comfortable breathing. It may also help prevent the recurrence of fluid accumulation.

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