The lungs are covered by thin membranes called pleura. Open pleural biopsy is a procedure in which a small patch of the pleural tissue is removed and examined microscopically to determine the presence of cancerous cells, infections or any other lung conditions, such as accumulation of fluid in the lung cavity. Open pleural biopsy is performed under general anesthesia. Your surgeon makes an incision in your chest and separates your ribs to expose the pleural area. A small piece of tissue is removed from the pleura and taken to the laboratory for microscopic examination. Your doctor closes your incision with the help of sutures. Sometimes a small tube may be inserted into your chest to prevent accumulation of fluid. Like all procedures, open pleural biopsy may be associated with certain risks such as infections, excessive loss of blood, air leak, damage to lungs and pneumothorax (collapsed lungs).
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