Is Surgery the Only Option for Pleural Effusions?


Quick Answer

Surgery is far from the only option to treat pleural effusions, according to WebMD. A variety of non-surgical techniques can be used. Pleural effusion caused by a disease such as pneumonia, for example, may only take a course of antibiotics to clear.

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Is Surgery the Only Option for Pleural Effusions?
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Full Answer

Other ways to treat pleural effusions include thoracentesis, says MedlinePlus. This is a procedure in which a needle is inserted into the pleural space around the lungs and fluid is drawn out. The patient can also have a tube thoracotomy, in which a tube is put into the pleural space and fluid is suctioned out by a machine, indicates WebMD. Surgery is performed when there is a great deal of inflammation and necrotizing tissue.

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