Assessment & Management of Pleural & Chest Wall Diseases in Rockhill, SC

Piedmont Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgery provides assessment and management for pleural and chest wall diseases in Rockhill, SC. Your accomplished medical team is committed to providing accurate diagnoses and effective treatment plans, while listening to you every step of the way.

Pleural & Chest Wall Conditions

The wall of the chest cavity is composed of the rib cage and the diaphragm. It is lined with a thin and shiny membrane called the pleura. There are several conditions associated with the pleura and pleural cavity. Here we will explore some of the primary pleural and chest wall conditions and their treatment options.


This is an infection of the pleural cavity caused by a virus or bacteria. Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Weight Loss
  • Sore Throat
  • Joint Swelling & Soreness

Causes of pleurisy include:

  • A Punctured Lung
  • Chest Injury
  • Tuberculosis
  • Tumor in the Pleural Cavity
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Sickle Cell Crisis
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Pancreatitis
  • Complications from Heart Surgery

When diagnosed and treated early, a full recovery can generally be expected. Treatment for this condition depends on the underlying cause and ranges from:

  • Antibiotics
  • NSAIDS like Ibuprofen
  • Steroid Medication

Pleural Effusion

During respiration, the pleura produce a small amount of fluid necessary to lubricate the lungs as they move back and forth against the chest wall. Pleural effusion occurs when this fluid builds up in the chest cavity and prevents the lungs from fully expanding while breathing. Potential symptoms include shortness of breath and coughing. It is typically caused by:

  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Bulla
  • Lung Disease
  • Trauma to the Chest
  • Pleural Cancer
  • Surgery

Treatment varies depending on the underlying cause and may include:

  • Diuretics
  • Heart Failure Medications
  • Thoracentesis to Drain the Flued
  • Chemotherapy or Radiation for Malignant Cases
  • Pleural Sclerosis

H3: Pneumothorax

The presence of air or gas are present in the pleural cavity, between the outside of the lung and the inside of the rib cage. Symptoms associated with pneumothorax include:

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Pleurisy
  • Cyanosis
  • Respiratory Distress

Causes may include:

  • Lung Injury Resulting in Air Leaking
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Lung Disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Blebs or Ruptured Air Blisters
  • Mechanical Ventilation

Treatment for pneumothorax focuses on relieving the pressure on the lungs. In mild cases, monitoring the situation may be sufficient. Other treatments include:

  • Needle Aspiration
  • Chest Tube Insertion
  • Nonsurgical Repair to Close the Air Leak
  • Surgery


This is when blood appears in the pleural cavity. Symptoms may include:

  • Chest Pain
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Anxiety & Restlessness
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Respiratory Failure

The cause can be attributed to:

  • Chest Trauma
  • Lung or Pleural Cancer
  • Chest or Heart Surgery

Hemothorax is treated by draining the blood from the chest wall cavity.

Pleural Tumors

These tumors are located in the cavity between the lungs and chest wall and can be either benign or malignant. The most common diagnosis for malignant pleural tumors is Mesothelioma, caused by an exposure to asbestos. Treatment includes:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy

Metastatic pleural tumors are life threatening and the prognosis is not promising. We recommend participating in a support group in order to alleviate stress and anxiety that accompany this diagnosis.

Contact Our Office

Turn to the compassionate staff and skilled surgeons at Piedmont Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgery. Call us to schedule an appointment so that we can set you on the path to better health.