Pleural Effusion - Complications

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What complications did you experience with pleural effusion?

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What are the complications of pleural effusion?

The potential complications associated with pleural effusion are:

  • lung scarring,
  • pneumothorax (collapse of the lung) as a complication of thoracentesis,
  • empyema (a collection of pus within the pleural space), and
  • sepsis (blood infection) sometimes leading to death.
Return to Pleural Effusion

See what others are saying

Comment from: Anu, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 17

I am suffering from chest and back pain which is very sharp (upper body pain). It started after I had flu in the winter. I am suffering with this pain for 6 months. Pain is severe in the evening and night time. It disturbs my sleep. It increases when I do exercise and some other day to day physical activity. I am concerned it is pleural effusion.

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Comment from: redhat, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I had ovarian cancer 5 years ago. I had total hysterectomy, gall bladder, and spleen removed. I have been fine until last August I was having trouble breathing. Chest x-ray showed left side was full of fluid. The pleural effusion was drained and then it came back in 3 weeks. It was drained again and sent away for diagnosis. It came back positive for cancer cells. I started chemotherapy again and they put in a surgical tube in right side, drained every other day for 3 months. Then they took the drain out and no more fluid was drained. I had chest x-ray in December which showed a little fluid. June x-ray was better than December. August of this year didn't show any fluid. Although I was told there would always be some. My breathing is good, no shortness of breath and oxygen is around 97-96. I've been having pains in shoulder and ribs, probably arthritis. I'm 77 year old. I try not to worry about it spreading, but the thought is always there.

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