What is the role of balloon pericardiotomy in the treatment of pericardial effusion?

Updated: Nov 28, 2018
  • Author: William J Strimel, DO, FACP; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Answer

In this procedure, a catheter is placed in the pericardial space under fluoroscopy. Inflation of the balloon creates a channel for passage of fluid into the pleural space, where reabsorption occurs more readily. Balloon pericardiotomy may be useful for recurrent effusions.


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