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  • Thoracoscopy (thor-ah-KOS-kah-pe) is a procedure to look inside your chest cavity using an endoscope. An endoscope is a narrow bendable tube that has a light source on the end. The viewer end of the endoscope has a camera that may be attached to a video monitor. It is inserted into your chest using small incisions (cuts) in the chest wall. Thoracoscopy may be done to diagnose or treat conditions of the lungs and pleura (thin lining covering the lungs). These conditions may include infections, cancer, or too much fluid in the chest cavity. Thoracoscopy may also be done to give medicines directly to the lungs or do a biopsy (take tissue samples).
  • When the thoracoscopy is done to examine or treat the pleura only, it may also be called a pleuroscopy. An ultrasound may be done or a radioactive solution given during the procedure to help find the lesion. Having a thoracoscopy as early as possible may diagnose and treat your condition and prevent further complications.


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.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
    • Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Ask your caregiver when you should return to have your wound checked, and the stitches or drains removed.

Bathing with stitches:

Follow your primary healthcare provider's instructions on when you can bathe. Gently wash the part of your body that has the stitches. Do not rub on the stitches to dry your skin. Pat the area gently with a towel. When the area is dry, put on a clean, new bandage as directed.


  • You have a fever.
  • You have nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting (throwing up).
  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure, or medicine.


  • Your bandage becomes soaked with blood.
  • You are coughing up blood.
  • Your wound has blood, pus, or a foul-smelling odor.
  • You have trouble breathing all of a sudden or have chest pain.

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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.