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Pleural tap, otherwise called chest tap or thoracentesis, is a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure where excess fluid is drained using a fine needle or tube from the pleural space. In image-guided pleural tap, the needle or tube is guided into the body with the help of ultrasound, CT scan, or fluoroscopy. It is done to diagnose the cause of fluid collection outside the lung, or to relieve symptoms of pleural effusion like breathlessness, cough, and chest pain. Using ultrasound or CT scan prevents injury to the adjacent tissue, and helps the doctor reach difficult areas with ease.
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