Find out what to expect when you come to hospital for your appointment.

Before your appointment

You should receive a clinic appointment within eight weeks of receipt of your referral.  We aim to drain all pleural effusions within seven days of referral.

You are welcome to bring a relative, close friend or carer with you to your appointment or you can ask for a chaperone.

We suggest that you wear comfortable clothing on your upper half that is easy to remove, as it is likely that you will have a clinical examination during your appointment.  Please read the patient information leaflets below for more information on how to prepare for your appointment. It is especially important that you read these if you are taking blood-thinning medications. 

Please remember to check your appointment letter for anything specific you have been asked to take with you. In addition, it would be helpful if you could bring the following:

  • a list of your medications
  • your full address and telephone number(s) 
  • your reading glasses if you need them

If you are having a procedure at St Mary's Hospital, on arrival please go to endoscopy reception, which is on the second floor of the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (QEQM) building.

If you are having a procedure at Charing Cross Hospital, it will either be done in endoscopy on the first floor of the tower block, or on four south ward. You will be clearly told before your procedure where to go.

During your appointment

You may have to wait up to an hour for your appointment if a preceding case is delayed or especially difficult. 

Your appointment or procedure may take up to 45 minutes.

Please note that we are a teaching hospital, so medical students or junior doctors may be present for some appointments. If you do not wish to have them in the room, please let the nurse or doctor know and the students will be asked to step outside. 

At your clinic appointment, we will take a thorough medical history and perform an examination. We will also perform a thoracic ultrasound, which is a non-invasive scan but does involve putting some cold jelly on your chest.

At your procedure appointment, we will perform a thoracic ultrasound and the planned procedure. Please read the patient information leaflets below for more information about what to expect during your procedure.

After your appointment 

In most cases you will receive a follow-up appointment with a chest doctor in our service or with the doctor who referred you. Results of diagnostic tests will take at least seven days.

Patient information leaflets