A thoracentesis is a procedure for removal of fluid from the pleural cavity. This fluid is called a pleural effusion. Pleural effusions can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath. Usually as a part of diagnosing or as a treatment for the pleural effusion a thoracentesis is performed. We at PCCS have the ability to do this procedure safely in our office. We use the latest technology to locate the fluid with ultrasound guidance. This allows us to reduce risk of complications. When scheduled for a thoracentesis, we will ask the patient first to register with the lab in order for us have fluid analysis done. Then, in our office procedure room, the ultrasound will be used to guide our doctor to the optimum location for drainage. Lidocaine is used to numb the skin, maximizing patient comfort. A small catheter is then inserted into the pleural space and connected to a drainage bottle. Once the fluid is evacuated, the catheter is removed and a small bandage is placed. A post-procedure x-ray is done to ensure that there were not any complications. The patient can resume normal activity immediately thereafter but we do ask that the bandage not be removed until the next morning, at which time bathing and showering can be resumed.