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Pleural Disease

Pleural Disease services offered in the East Tennessee Region.

If you experience shortness of breath or other breathing problems due to pleural disease, the experts at StatCare in Oak Ridge, Athens, and Knoxville, Tennessee, can help. The skilled pulmonologists diagnose and treat pleural diseases so you can get a full breath and reduce troublesome complications. Call the office to schedule an evaluation at the first sign of a problem, or use the online booking feature today.

Pleural Disease Q&A

What is pleural disease?

Pleural disease affects the membrane that lines your chest cavity and covers the lungs. Numerous pleural diseases can negatively affect your health. Examples include:

  • Pleural effusion: buildup of fluid in your pleural cavity
  • Pleurisy: inflammation of the pleural cavity
  • Hemothorax: buildup of blood in your pleural cavity
  • Pneumothorax: air within the pleural cavity
  • Empyema: pus accumulation in your pleural cavity

Pleural tumors are another form of pleural disease. 

What are the symptoms of pleural disease?

The symptoms associated with pleural disease include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Shallow or rapid breathing 
  • Sore throat
  • Joint soreness or swelling
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pain with deep breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Fatigue
  • Blue skin 
  • Rapid heart rate
  • General discomfort
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness

There aren’t always obvious symptoms of pleural disease, at least not immediately. Over time, respiratory failure or other complications may develop if your disease isn’t treated. 

What are the risk factors for pleural disease?

Common risk factors of pleural disease include:

  • Lung or pleural cancer
  • Parasites
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungi
  • Heart or chest surgery
  • Chest injuries
  • Some medications
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot)
  • Lung diseases
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Trauma 

The cause of pleural disease, especially a pleural tumor, isn’t always known. Sometimes cancer spreads from other areas of your body into the pleural space.

How does my pulmonologist diagnose pleural disease?

Your StatCare specialist pinpoints the cause of your symptoms by completing a detailed medical history and physical exam. The team also checks your vital signs, breathing, and heartbeat. 

Diagnostic tests, such as arterial blood gas analyses, biopsies, blood tests, and stress tests, help your provider determine the most appropriate treatment. You may also need chest X-rays, a CT scan, an MRI, an ultrasound, or other imaging procedures.

How is pleural disease treated?

Your personalized treatment for pleural disease depends on the type of disease you have and its severity. Your pulmonologist may recommend undergoing treatments that remove excess fluid or air between your chest wall and lungs or other surgical procedures.

If you have cancer, you might be a candidate for tumor removal, tumor ablation, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or additional cancer treatments. 

Your StatCare specialist tailors each pleural disease treatment to your unique needs. They choose one that offers the most symptom relief with the lowest risk of complications.

If you suspect you have pleural disease, call the StatCare office or schedule an evaluation online today.

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