Fluid built up in the space around your lungs
Expert Heart & Vascular Care
Getting the care you need starts with seeing one of our heart or vascular specialists.
The pleural space around the lungs allows them to expand and is lined with a thin layer of tissue called the pleura. Pleural effusion is the buildup of extra fluid in the space that can put pressure on your lungs and make it difficult to breathe or cause a lung to collapse. It’s sometimes referred to as “water on the lungs.”
If you have pleural effusion, you may experience:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
You may feel relief from some symptoms when sitting upright or standing.
What causes pleural effusion?
The cause of your pleural effusion will affect the type of fluid buildup around the lungs, either a watery or protein-rich fluid. Some common causes of pleural effusion include:
Diagnosing pleural effusion is the first step to developing a treatment plan. Our specialists may recommend one or more diagnostic and imaging procedures to evaluate your condition.