The risks of thoracentesis usually are minor and get better on their own, or they're easily treated.
The risks of thoracentesis usually are minor and get better on their own, or they're easily treated. Your doctor may do a chest x ray after the procedure to check for lung problems.
The risks of thoracentesis include:
- Pneumothorax. This is a condition in which air collects in the pleural space (the space between the lungs and chest wall). Sometimes air comes in through the needle, or the needle makes a hole in a lung. Usually, a hole will seal itself. If enough air gets into the pleural space, however, the lung can collapse. Your doctor may need to put a tube in your chest to remove the air and let the lung expand again.
- Pain, bleeding, bruising, or infection where the needle or tube was inserted. In rare cases, bleeding may occur in or around the lungs. Your doctor may need to put a tube in your chest to drain the blood. In some cases, surgery may be needed.
- Liver or spleen injuries. These complications are very rare.
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