Pleural Effusion

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Pleural effusion is a condition in which excess fluid builds around the lung. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Pleural effusion is when fluid collects in the tissue between your lungs and the wall of your chest.

The most common causes of this are congestive heart failure, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism or cancer.

You might not have any symptoms. If symptoms do occur, it might include shortness of breath, cough or pain when you take a deep breath.

Based on your symptoms and the size of the effusion, your doctor may be able to tell whats causing it. If not, you might need a procedure called a thoracentesis. Your doctor will put a needle into your chest to drain some of the fluid out. Then the fluid is tested to find out whats causing the pleural effusion.

If you dont have any symptoms, your doctor might decide to wait and see if it goes away. But if you have symptoms, or if the cause isnt known, it may need to be drained. Your doctor will treat the cause of the effusion to try to prevent it from returning.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.