ZocdocAnswersHow does chest wall surgery remove fluid from my chest?

Question

How does chest wall surgery remove fluid from my chest?

I'm a 30 year old woman with fluid in her chest. I am having chest wall surgery to remove the fluid. How will this surgery remove the fluid?

Answer

Fluid in your chest is a somewhat ambiguous term. It might be understood as flood in the chest wall, which could from a small infection that causes pus and other inflammation to develop, or you could be referring to fluid in the actual lungs themselves, which is more common and accompanies pneumonia or other common lung infections. The treatment would be radically different depending on the cause and source of the fluid, and more information would be needed to answer this question appropriately. Your physician and surgeon should be able to answer this question sufficiently, as well as give you the diagnosis of your condition so that you can seek further information from other sources as appropriate. In general, surgery to remove any fluid would look to first evacuate the fluid that is present in a careful and controlled manner, and next to stop more fluid from collecting. Depending on the fluid, this might include efforts to stop bleeding, improve lung function, or other options. If fluid is allowed to remain, it becomes a possible source of bacterial growth, which can then be a long term source of problems. For this reason, excess fluid is generally recommended to be surgically removed. Please discuss your question with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.