This is a special procedure used for the evaluation and management of pleural effusion. This procedure is done either with a flexirigidpleuroscope [Olympus-EvisExeraPleurovideoscope LTF-160] or a rigid thoracoscope [Karl storz]. The department is equipped with both the thoracoscopes and advanced thoracoscopy suites. The advantage with rigid thoracoscope is that the physician can lyse the thick adhesions formed in the pleural cavity which hamper the drainage of pleural fluid and lung expansion.
Pleural effusion is an accumulation of fluid in the thin membranus sac (pleural cavity) surrounding the lungs. Medical thoracoscopy is a procedure which allows the clinician to have access to the thin membranous sac for evaluation. The usual evaluation of pleural effusion includes aspirating the fluid and sending them for evaluation. In certain cases diagnosis may not be clear after analysis of pleural fluid, medical thoracoscopy is useful for evaluation of such cases.
The indications for medical thoracoscopy are
• Undiagnosed pleural effusion- for taking a pleural biopsy (taking a piece of tissue from the thin membranous sac covering the lungs)
• Breaking the adhesions between layers of thin membranous sac (adhesiolysis)
• Talc pleurodesis (fusing the layers of the sac) in cancerous fluid accumulations