Thoracoscopy is a special endoscopic procedure to check the pleural cavity. Now what is the pleural cavity?
The pleural cavity is a space around the lungs which normally contains only a thin layer of fluid. This fluid is formed locally and is helpful for lubrication and other functions of the lungs.
One of the most common lung disorders is the accumulation of excess fluid in the pleural cavity or pleural effusion. In this disease excess fluid starts forming in the pleural space, which can not be drained away. This can cause certain problems such as breathlessness, chest pain, fever and heaviness in the chest. Some of the common diseases which are associated with the development of pleural effusions include pneumonia, tuberculosis, lung cancer, etc.
The examination of the pleural cavity is done by means of chest X-rays and CT scans. However, in certain cases these investigations are not sufficient; thoracoscopy is needed in such situations. The thoracoscope is a specialized endoscope for examining and taking tissue samples from the pleural cavity. The procedure is done under anaesthesia.