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Open Pleural Biopsy

Definition

An open pleural biopsy is a procedure to remove and examine the tissue that lines the inside of the chest. This tissue is called the pleura.

Alternative Names

Biopsy - open pleura

How the test is performed

An open pleural biopsy is done in the hospital using general anesthesia, which means you are asleep and do not feel pain during the surgery. A tube will be placed down your throat to help you breathe.

The surgeon will make a cut in the left or right side of the chest. A piece of tissue is taken from the chest area, and sent to a laboratory for examination. After surgery, the wound is closed with stitches.

How to prepare for the test

You will be asked not to eat or drink for 8 hours before the test.

How the test will feel

You will be asleep during the procedure. There will be some tenderness and pain where the surgical cut is located. You may have a sore throat after the test due to the breathing tube.

Why the test is performed

This procedure is used when the surgeon needs a larger piece of tissue than that which can be removed with a pleural needle biopsy.

It is also performed when there are no body fluids in the pleura or when a direct view of the pleura and the lungs is necessary.

This procedure may also be done to examine a metastatic pleural tumor.

Normal Values

The pleura will be normal.

What abnormal results mean

Abnormal findings may suggest:

  • Abnormal tissue growth (neoplasms)
  • Disease due to a virus, fungus, or parasite
  • Tuberculosis

What the risks are

There is a slight chance of:

  • Air leak
  • Excess blood loss
  • Injury to the lung

Review Date: 10/10/2008

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Information developed by A.D.A.M., Inc. regarding tests and test results may not directly correspond with information provided by UCSF Medical Center. Please discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.