Plural aspiration: Removing fluid from the lungs

Pleural aspiration is a procedure to remove fluid from the space between the lungs and the chest wall. This is called the pleural space or cavity. Normally, the pleural space is filled with a small amount of fluid but some conditions, such as heart failure, lung infections and tumours, can cause more fluid to build up. When this happens it is called a pleural effusion. A lot of extra fluid can press on the lungs, making it hard to breathe. It may also be done to help you to breathe easier.

During the procedure
The doctor inserts a thin needle or plastic tube into the pleural space after cleaning the skin and anaesthetising the site where the needle or tube is inserted. You should not cough, breathe deeply or move during the test to avoid lung injury. Once the fluid is removed the needle or tube is removed and a small dressing is placed where it was inserted.

Patient preparation

  • No preparation required.
  • Lab reports of PT, APTT & INR required.
  • If you take any blood thinners, you may need to stop taking them prior to your procedure. All other medications can be taken as normal.

Pre-procedure instruction

  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment time, for exam registration.
  • Wear a two-piece outfit.
  • On the day of your appointment, be sure to bring:

- Your doctor’s referral form.
- Your previous films and medical records.

  • Before your procedure, please let the Radiologist know if you are, or think you may be pregnant.
  • Procedure usually takes 5 minutes to several hours, depending on the amount of fluid and how fast it drains.
  • Please leave valuable items in your vehicle or with a trusted person.
  • Please inform us if you cannot keep the appointment.
  • You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home the following day.

Post-procedure instruction

  • You will be monitored after the procedure to ensure there have not been any complications, a chest x-ray after the test to check for any lung problems.
  • The fluid removed will be given to you and you will have to send to the laboratory to be tested to try and establish the cause of the pleural effusion.
  • You must not do any exercise for the rest of the day.
  • If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact our reception staff on 021-35292707.
Dr Wasey Jilani
Dr.Wasey Mahmud Jilani
Fellowship in Diagnostic Radiology,
College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan,
Fellowship in Vascular Interventional Radiology

Monday to Saturday

10am to 5pm

Nasir / Salman
(+92)213 529 2707