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If cardiac tamponade occurs, pericardiocentesis may be performed to withdraw fluid from the pericardial space. This is both therapeutic and potentially diagnostic, since the fluids can be analyzed to assist in diagnosing the cause of pericarditis. If the pericardial fluid re-accumulates, it may be necessary for a surgeon to remove a small area of the pericardium to allow chronic drainage. This procedure is called a pericardial window.
In patients with constrictive pericarditis, the pericardium prevents the heart from filling and beating adequately. Pericardectomy is a treatment option, where the surgeon strips the pericardium from the surface of the heart.
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