pleurodesis vs thoracentesis whats the difference 2080 1

Pleurodesis Vs Thoracentesis: What’s the Difference?

If you have been diagnosed with pleural effusion, your doctor has likely recommended a treatment called pleurodesis. This procedure is designed to remove the excess fluid from your chest cavity and prevent it from returning. Thoracentesis is another treatment option that can be used to remove fluid from the chest cavity, but how do you know which one is right for you? Read on to learn more about the difference between these two procedures.

What is Pleurodesis?

Pleurodesis is a medical procedure that is used to treat pleural effusions. A pleural effusion is a build-up of fluid in the space between the lungs and the chest wall. This can cause the lungs to collapse and make it difficult to breathe.

Pleurodesis is a way to prevent the fluid from building up by scarring the tissue so that the fluid cannot accumulate. This is done by injecting a substance into the space between the lungs and chest wall or by surgically placing a tube (catheter) into this space. The substance that is injected will cause inflammation and scarring, which will close off the space and prevent fluid from accumulating.

Thoracentesis is a similar procedure that is used to remove fluid from the pleural space. A needle is inserted into the pleural space and the fluid is removed. Thoracentesis can be used to diagnose pleural effusions, but it is not as effective at treating them as pleurodesis.

What is Thoracentesis?

Thoracentesis is a procedure during which a needle is inserted into the chest cavity in order to remove fluid from around the lungs. This fluid can build up for various reasons, such as congestive heart failure or cancer, and can cause difficulty breathing. Thoracentesis can help to relieve this pressure and allow the patient to breathe more easily.

What are the risks of Thoracentesis?

The main risks associated with Thoracentesis are bleeding, infection, and pneumothorax (collapsed lung). These complications are rare, however, and the procedure is generally considered safe.

The Difference Between Pleurodesis and Thoracentesis

Pleurodesis and thoracentesis are two procedures that are used to treat fluid buildup in the chest. They both involve draining the fluid, but there are some key differences between the two.

Pleurodesis is a procedure that involves inflating a balloon in the chest cavity and then puncturing the pleura, the membrane that surrounds the lungs. This allows the fluid to drain out and also prevents it from reaccumulating.

Thoracentesis, on the other hand, involves inserting a needle into the chest cavity and draining the fluid without puncturing the pleura. This procedure is less invasive than pleurodesis, but it may need to be repeated more often since there is nothing preventing the fluid from reaccumulating.

So, which procedure is right for you? That depends on your individual situation and what your doctor recommends. But knowing the difference between pleurodesis and thoracentesis can help you make an informed decision about your treatment.

Pros and Cons of each Procedure

When it comes to Pleurodesis vs Thoracentesis, both procedures have their own set of pros and cons. Let’s take a look at each one in more detail:


-Can be used as both a diagnostic and therapeutic tool
-A relatively simple procedure
-Low risk of complications

-May not be effective in all cases
-Possible side effects include fever, chest pain, and shortness of breath

-Allows for the removal of large amounts of fluid from the thoracic cavity
-Can be used to diagnose various conditions such as pleural effusions, pneumonia, and lung cancer
-Low risk of complications when performed by an experienced physician

-Risk of pneumothorax (collapsed lung) is higher than with pleurodesis
-Procedure may be uncomfortable for some patients

When to Consider each Procedure

If you have been diagnosed with a pleural effusion, your doctor may recommend one of two treatments: pleurodesis or thoracentesis. But what is the difference between these two procedures?

Pleurodesis is a minimally invasive procedure that involves injecting a chemical irritant into the pleural space. This irritant creates inflammation, which in turn causes the two layers of the pleura to stick together. This reduces or eliminates the fluid buildup between them.

Thoracentesis, on the other hand, is a more invasive procedure in which a needle is inserted between the ribs into the pleural space in order to remove the fluid.

So, when should you consider each procedure? If you have a large effusion or recurring effusions, pleurodesis may be the better option. It can also be used if you are not able to have surgery or if you are not a candidate for surgery.

Thoracentesis may be recommended if you have a small effusion, if your effusion is causing symptoms such as shortness of breath, or if your doctor needs to test the fluid for infection or cancer.

Both procedures carry some risks, so be sure to discuss all of your options


Although both pleurodesis and thoracentesis are procedures used to remove excess fluid from the lungs, there are some key differences between the two. Thoracentesis is a more invasive procedure and carries with it a higher risk of complications, while pleurodesis is less invasive and has a lower risk of complications.

In terms of effectiveness, both procedures have been shown to be effective in treating patients with excess lung fluid. Ultimately, the decision of which procedure to choose should be made by you and your doctor based on your individual medical situation.

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