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Thoracoscopy is a procedure your doctor used to find or treat some problems in your chest. It may have been used to take a sample of tissue for a biopsy. Or maybe the doctor used it to check for problems such as fluid collecting around your lungs (pleural effusion). It also may have been used to drain extra fluid around your lungs and do a procedure to keep the fluid from coming back.
Your chest may be sore where the doctor made the incisions. This usually gets better after 2 to 3 weeks. You may go home with a tube in the incision to drain fluid.
You will have stitches or staples in the incisions. Your doctor will take these out 1 to 2 weeks after your procedure.
How long it will take to recover depends on what was done during the procedure. But you probably will need to take it easy at home for at least 1 to 2 weeks.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: February 24, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & David C. Stuesse MD - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery & Thomas M. Bailey MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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