Depending on the underlying cause of your pericardial effusion, your doctor may prescribe medication, such as antibiotics, diuretics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., Advil, Motrin, and ibuprofen)
If medications are not effective, a cardiologist or surgeon may drain fluid from around the heart using:
- Ultrasound-guided pericardiocentesis – a thin tube (catheter) is guided by ultrasound to remove excess fluid
- Video-assisted thoracotomy – a small incision is made to access the pericardium, drain the fluid and prevent it from re-accumulating
- Pericardial window – a small incision is made to to open the pericardium and drain the fluid
Your doctor will discuss which treatment options are right for you.