Pleural Effusion

See us if you have any of these pleural effusion symptoms:

shortness of breath, chest pain when breathing in deeply, fever, cough

Pleural Effusion is the presence of an unusual amount of fluid around the lungs. Many conditions can lead to it, and your doctor will likely target the root cause as well as draining your effusion if necessary.

The pleura is a thin membrane lining the surface of the lungs and the inside of the chest wall outside the lungs to help the lungs move smoothly during breathing. In pleural effusions, fluid builds up in the space between layers of pleura beyond the few teaspoons needed for normal functioning.

Nurse with Patient


Medications for the condition causing your pleural effusion ­– a couple of examples include antibiotics for pneumonia or diuretics for congestive heart failure.

  • Drainage to ease symptoms – a variety of procedures including:
    • Thoracentesis – draining the fluid via a needle inserted in the area of the effusion
    • Tube thoracostomy (chest tube) – a plastic tube inserted into your pleural space via small cut in your chest wall. Treatment lasts several days.
    • Pleural drain – a long-term catheter that allows you to drain recurring pleural effusions at home.

The doctors at PAR are lung specialists and specially-trained to diagnose and treat your pleural effusion.