The small bowel or small intestine is the longest portion of the intestinal tract. It is called small because it is narrow compared to the large bowel, however it is much longer than the large bowel. The small intestine is the organ of nutrient absorption and is therefore a vital organ. It is hard to reach the small bowel with instruments passed by the mouth or anus because it is located between the stomach and the large bowel.
Thoracentesis is a procedure to remove fluid from the space between the lungs and the chest wall called the pleural space. It is done with a needle or a plastic catheter inserted through the chest wall. This pleural fluid may be sent to the lab to determine what may be causing the fluid to accumulate in the pleural space.
Normally only a small amount of pleural fluid is present in the pleural space. Many conditions such as infection, inflammation, heart failure or cancer may cause accumulation of excess pleural fluid. If a large amount of fluid is present, it may be difficult to breathe. Fluid inside the pleural space may be found during a physical examination and is usually confirmed by a chest x-ray.
Thoracentesis may be done to:
The esophagus is a muscular tube that extends from the neck to the abdomen and connects the back of the throat to the stomach. When a person swallows, the coordinated muscular contractions of the esophagus push the food or fluid from the throat to the stomach. If the muscular contractions become uncoordinated or weak, interfering with movement of food down the esophagus, it can cause motility disorders such as difficulty in swallowing, regurgitation of food or a spasm-type pain. Manometry tests these muscle contractions.
Twenty-four hour pH testing measures how often stomach acid flows into the lower esophagus and the amount and degree of acidity during the test.