Fluid builds up in the chest, but lung can recover after it is drained
Michael Noonan underwent a medical procedure to treat fluid building up in the chest after being diagnosed with the condition two weeks before Christmas.
Dr Nina Byrnes told the Irish Independent that the condition is known medically as 'pleural effusion', which can result in shortness of breath or chest pain.
The condition can often be treated with antibiotics but may also require drainage or a medical procedure to ensure that it does not flare up in future.
While the relatively common condition can be brought about by a range of ailments, it can be treated quickly and successfully.
Mr Noonan has already indicated his intention to return to work on January 5, adding that he looks forward to contesting the election.
Dr Byrnes explained: "Fluid on the lung is medically known as a pleural effusion. The space between the chest cavity and the lung is known as the pleural space. When excess fluid builds up here, a pleural effusion occurs. This can cause chest pain and shortness of breath and limits the function of the lung."
Following treatment, the lung can fully recover.
Dr Byrnes added: "An infection can cause (pleural effusion) to occur. Antibiotics may clear the infection but the fluid may also require drainage in a hospital.
"In order to prevent further fluid building up, a material called a sclerosant may be injected into the space. This causes inflammation of the lining of the chest wall, making it stick together, thus making it difficult for fluid to gather again. Once the fluid and infection are gone, the lung can recover."