About this service

The Pleural service is based at Aintree’s Chest Centre.

The service provides a high quality diagnostic and treatment service for patients with pleural diseases such as pleural effusions, pneumothorax or other pleural abnormalities e.g. pleural thickening.

A Pleural Effusion refers to an accumulation of fluid around the lining of the lung known as the pleural space. This build-up of fluid is seen commonly and can be due to a variety of conditions sometimes resulting in symptoms such as breathlessness and pain.

Treatments and clinics

The pleural team conducts a full range of pleural procedures, and runs a dedicated pleural clinic once a week. Procedures may be performed in the Pleural Clinic itself in order to investigate the cause of pleural effusions and to relieve symptoms due to accumulation of pleural fluid thus avoiding the need for hospital admission.

To maximize patient safety, all procedures are performed under Ultrasound guidance according to British Thoracic Society standards. 

The service allows prompt access to further investigations such as Medical Thoracoscopy, a procedure performed at Aintree by the same team of Doctors who run the Pleural Clinic.

The service offers, where appropriate, the insertion of tunnelled Indwelling Pleural Catheters (IPCs) allowing drainage of pleural effusions in the community. 

Furthermore, the clinic has close links with the Joint Lung Clinic, the Respiratory Wards and other Respiratory Services at Aintree facilitating smooth transition of patients between specialists.

Referral information

At present, patients may be referred to the Pleural service via specialist teams at Aintree or specialists from other hospitals. 

All cases referred into the Pleural Service are discussed at a weekly multi-disciplinary team meeting and, where appropriate, are seen in a dedicated Pleural Clinic.