WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A thoracentesis is a procedure to remove extra fluid or air from between your lungs and your inner chest wall. Air or fluid buildup may make it hard for you to breathe. A thoracentesis allows your lungs to expand fully so you can breathe more easily.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
- Antibiotics: This medicine helps fight or prevent an infection.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Rest when you feel it is needed. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
Do not smoke:
If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask for information about how to stop smoking if you need help.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- Your puncture site is red, warm, swollen, or draining pus.
- You have questions or concerns about your procedure, medicine, or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- There is blood in your spit.
- You had a chest tube removed and your stitches come apart.
- You have trouble breathing all of a sudden.
- You have severe chest pain.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.