The pleura are two thin, moist membranes around the lungs. They let your lungs expand and contract. The inner layer is attached to the lungs. The outer layer is attached to the ribs. Pleural effusion is a buildup of extra fluid in the space between the pleura. This can make it hard for the lungs to open all the way. This can make it hard to breathe.
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This may include listening to or tapping on your chest. Lung function tests will test how well you can move air in and out of your lungs.
Some blood tests will be done based on what the doctor thinks it causing the fluid.
Pictures may be taken to view your lungs. This can be done with:
The doctor may advise chemical pleurodesis. Talc powder or an irritating chemical is injected into the pleural space. This will seal the two layers of the pleura together. This may help prevent further fluid buildup.
Radiation therapy may also be used to seal the pleura.
Pleural effusion. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated October 2017. Accessed August 28, 2018.
Pleural effusion. Remedy's Health Communities website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated October 1, 2015. Accessed August 28, 2018.
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