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Experience with pleurocentesis?


Inkerdoodler

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Due to pulmonary effusion, docs are considering pleurocentesis. We don't know what to expect, what the risks are, who should be doing it... what do we ask for/about? If he has this done does it increase risks for spread later? We would appreciate any advice from anyone who has been through this. He has been increasingly uncomfortable the past few days (SOB) and using supplementary O2 more often. Thanks for your advice!

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What they do is insert a chest tube into the pleura to drain off the fluid. I had two tubes becaue there was a lot of fluid. The fluid builds up between the pleural membrane and the wall of the lung and inhibits the lung's ability to expand and fill with air. This can take hours to days to accomplish because the tissue may keep weeping and sometimes it takes time for the area to "dry" well enough for the tube to be removed. After the fluid is drained the docs may decide to do the Talc Procedure, where they inject talc into the pleural space. It causes the layers to seal together so that fluid does not (usually) form between the pleura and lung again. This isn't always necessary, though. The one thing I am sure of is that breathing is much easier when the fluid is drained off. The tubes are uncomfortable, but easier to tolerate in my opinion than the fluid. Hope this helps.

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i had the plueral fluid drained out of left lung and could breathe much easier. Didn't ever feel any discomfort even when the tube was removed. Had the tube in for five days. Haven't ever had any more fluid build up. They did the talc infusion. Feel very blessed that i am doing so well. the fluid drainage was the easiest part of my treatment so far. praying for the procedure to go quickly and be very beneficial. pammie

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Jim had the thoracentesis procedure done today... in the thoracic surgery office. It was difficult and painful, they removed 2 liters of fluid, and that was not all that was there, but he passed out at that point and fell backward and knocked the needle out so they decided they would not go back in and try to finish it. It was quite painful for him, and I was with him the whole time... but he suddenly said he felt faint and started moaning, fell forward, then collapsed backwards and his eyes rolled back and I thought he was having a seizure... there was the doc and a BIG strong male nurse and they had trouble holding/moving him (I had to turn my back because I was so scared!). He was in a lot of discomfort afterward (they said from the lung trying to reinflate). It has reinflated some, but not completely and it may take time. They will consider the talc procedure in a few weeks when they see how this progresses and whether the fluid continues to build up. He is breathing somewhat easier tonight tho' and his color is significantly improved. A long and stressful day (9 a.m. till 6 p.m.) and we're exhausted!

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Jim seems somewhat better after 4 days. The lung did not fully re-inflate, only partially, and they just don't know if it will ever fully happen. He is sleeping better and was even able to sleep on his left side again for the first time in months. Still using oxygen but it seems to be somewhat less than before. Next chemo on Monday but no concurrent scans so we don't know if we will get any more information. Assuming current chemo will continue.

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I had the exact same reaction to my thorencentesis as Jim. I've had 4 since diagnosis and each time I either passed out or threw up! And the pain was horrible! My fluid did cause the lower portion of my lung to collapse and it has never re-inflated. But, my other lung really took up the slack, because even when I was in the hospital w/pneumonia my oxygen level was always 100%!

Hoping Jim feels better soon, it usually takes about 3 days for pain to subside.

TAnn

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