top of page

What is a thoracic ultrasound?

An ultrasound of the lungs and plural space (space between you lungs and chest wall) allowing your doctor to get detailed images to help with your diagnosis or ongoing management.

Patient having thoracic ultrasound

Why has a thoracic ultrasound been suggested?

  • Check for excess fluid in the plural space

  • Look for fluid in other areas of the chest

  • Help guide the placement of a chest drain

What happens during this procedure?

During a thoracic ultrasound you will be asked to wear a hospital gown. Depending on where the pictures need to be taken you will either be asked to lie on a bed or sit upright.


  • A small amount of gel will be applied to your chest and a transducer probe will be moved around your chest.

  • You may be asked to breathe deeply, hold your breath or change positions during the test.

  • Images will be captured and reviewed by the doctor.

Safety considerations

A thoracic ultrasound is a safe, painless test. There are no risks. If you are pregnant, it is safe to have an ultrasound.

bottom of page