What are the risks of a thoracentesis?

A thoracentesis -- a procedure in which fluid is taken from the chest cavity to relieve pressure on the diaphragm to help you breathe easier -- when performed by a doctor who is specially trained and experienced in performing this type of procedure, is a low risk procedure. Complications can occur but are rare. Symptoms to watch for are:
  • tightness in the chest
  • shortness of breath
  • uncontrollable cough
  • blood tinged mucus
  • rapid pulse
  • feeling faint

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.