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Pleural Effusion and Draining

Posts: 100
Joined: Jul 2013

Has anyone here had pleural effusion and had to have it drained?  How do they do it?  Is it painful?  Do you have to stay overnight in the hospital?  Did it help you with your breathing once it was done?

I have started having trouble breathing and the last xray a few weeks ago showed that I now have pleual effusion, so, I am thinking I might have to have this done.  I see my onco next week.

I would appreciate any and all info you can give me, good and bad, so, I could be prepared if I have to have it done.


Thank you so much,



Posts: 771
Joined: Mar 2011

My pleural effusion was drained as an out patient procedure.  It didnt take long.  They numbed the area they were inserting the needle into.   A needle was used to insert a small catheter, a gentle vacuum attached to the catheter.  I was aware of the needle going in but no pain.  Kind of like a needle biopsy.  The only time I felt pain and discomfort was when the lung began to reexpand.  They kept an eye on me for a few minutes then sent me home.  

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