Thoracentesis (chest tap) is a procedure to remove fluid or air from around the lungs. A needle is put through the chest wall into
the pleural space. The pleural space is the thin gap between the pleura of the lung and of the inner chest wall. The fluid or air is aspirated.
A chest tube (flexible plastic tube) can help drain air, blood, or fluid from the space surrounding your lungs, called the pleural space.
Chest tube insertion is also referred to as chest tube thoracostomy. After local anaesthesia, a small cut is made and the tube is inserted between
the ribs into the pleural space. The tube may be connected to a machine to help with the drainage. The tube is removed after the fluid or air is
removed and lung expanded.
Both are carried out under ultrasound guidance. Both are diagnostic and therapeutic. Possible complications are bleeding, infection
and lung injury.
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