Pleural Disease Care

Choose the expert lung and thoracic doctors at UC San Diego Health to diagnose and treat pleural diseases.

What is Pleura?

Pleura is two thin layers of tissue between your lungs and your chest. Pleural disease can develop anywhere in or around the lungs with different causes, symptoms and treatments.

Conditions We Treat

Find the best treatment possible for these conditions at UC San Diego Health.

Diagnosis & Treatment of Pleural Diseases

When possible, your doctor will use minimally invasive techniques to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the pleura.

Closed Pleural Biopsy

An outpatient, minimally invasive procedure means you go home the same day after treatment. You will receive local anesthesia. Your doctor will place a pleural biopsy instrument under the skin to remove tissue (biopsy).

This technique provides your doctor with larger samples of pleural tissues than other biopsy methods. It also improves the ability to diagnose pleural abnormalities effectively.

Medical Thoracoscopy

Thoracoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure to diagnose and treat pleural lung disease. This approach allows your doctor to see the lung pleura to determine the cause of the pleural fluid. Thoracoscopy also makes it easier to apply treatment to prevent fluid from returning.

PleurX Catheter Placement

Tunneled pleural and peritoneal catheter insertion treats recurrent pleural effusion (pleural fluid) or ascites (fluid in the abdomen). This minimally invasive procedure is a great alternative that allows you to drain recurrent pleural fluid and ascites from the comfort of your home instead of having several follow-up appointments.


Your doctor may recommend thoracentesis to diagnose or relieve the fluid buildup in your lungs (pleural effusion). Your doctor will remove fluid from your chest using a needle. This procedure can help you breathe better and assist your doctor when diagnosing other conditions.