Thoracentesis Location

Thoracentesis is also known as thoracocentesis. Thoracentesis is a procedure in which excessive pleural fluid is extracted from pleural space with the help of needle. It is performed in emergency and hospitalist patients. Pleural space is a region which lies between two pleurae and filled with thin fluid. It is present in each lung. Pleura is defined as a serous membrane which is present in the form of two way layered pleural sac because it arranges itself by folding back onto itself. The outer boundary of pleura is attached to the chest wall and inner boundary of pleura attaches to lungs and covers them. It not only covers lungs but also covers adjacent blood vessels, bronchi and nerves. Pleural space is also known as potential space because of thin film of sera. This was all about anatomy of pleural space and now we will talk about location of Thoracentesis.

Thoracentesis is a process which is performed for two main purposes. 1st one includes taking sample from chest and 2nd one includes extraction of excessive pleural fluid. In this surgical procedure, a fine needle or a two way plastic catheter is used to inject in to the chest cavity. Properly trained physician is required for this procedure because of its sensitivity. Needle is injected from back side right through the chest wall into pleural space. The exact location is between ribs where the needle is injected. Patient is asked to lay on a bed side table facing downward. An ultrasound machine is also working by its side which shows the exact internal structure and needle injecting inside. Then anesthesia is given to numb the pain sensation. Then needle will pass through chest wall and inject enough that it reaches to pleural fluid.

To reach the pleural space needle will pass through chest wall and outer boundary of pleural space and then reaches to pleural fluid.  With this needle, a vacuum is attached which collects excessive pleural fluid. After collection, Pull back the needle and apply bandage to the site. Patient will experience a little restlessness during this procedure. After completion of thoracentesis, patient is advised to take rest and regular tests are performed to check progress of this process. Tests are also performed to check complications. It is a safe process but it is contraindicated in some patients like patient having bleeding disorders or patients with uncorrected bleeding diathesis and Patients with cellulites on chest wall.

After Thoracentesis, patients may face some complications. Some common complications on minor and major level are as follows. On minor level there may be pain while inserting needle, cough during process, subcutaneous seroma, vasovagal syncope, dry tap and subcutaneous hematoma. On major level hemothorax, diaphragmatic injury, tumor seeding, pneumothorax, laceration of the liver and spleen and empyema can occur. Thoracentesis is performed in many pathological conditions like large pleural effusions, to treat empyema and pleural effusions. Pleural effusions are of many size and require thoracentesis. Patients recover successfully from Thoracentesis with or without complications.
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