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talc procedure/ Serpentine

cindi o'h

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I have been getting lots of pm's asking what kind of surgery I am having tomorrow. So, I will explain here.

It is called a talc procedure or pleurodesis.

I have been having many recurrent effusions for about two years now, building up to moderate proportions just days after I have them drained. Effusions are a buildup of fluid around the lung; actually, between the lung and the sac that surrounds the lung (the pleural space). The fluid takes up alot of space and squishes my lung so that I can't breathe very well.

This is not uncommon for someone with lung cancer.

The doctor is going to use a VATS technique. (video assisted thorascopic surgery) That is using the tiny little camera with headlights, and the scopes and tools with nippers and staples, if necessary.

He is going to take a look around in there. He said that he can cover most of the surface area using his camera. He will be looking for anything that looks suspiciously like a nodule and if it is there, he will take a snip. I told him that he will not find anything that looks like that. And I meant it. (dammit! as my Irish mother would say)

He said that he anticipates there will be radiation scar tissue. I truly believe he will find much of that. He said that he will avoid those areas as they have a tendency not to heal. (thank you, doctor)

He will first collapse my lung before he starts all this. After draining the fluid he will nose around. Then squirt some talc in there I guess to glue the lining to the lung so that no more fluid will build up. Then reinflate my lung and voila! All done.

I will be in the hopital for about 5 days, he said. I don't anticipate any problems. I think this is fairly straight forward. I have been in this hospital under his care before and had a very positive experience. I am confident in his skills and the skills of the nurses who will be caring for me.

So. This is what will happen. I have driving and lifting restrictions afterwards. All in all, I am looking forward to getting this done as I believe that it will eliminate one of the causes for the shortness of breath that has been plaguing the quality of my daily living.

Serpentine!.. that is Leslie's and my way of dodging this cancer. And that is what I intend to do. Serpentine! Or as my brother, Dick, would say, "crawl on your belly like a reptile". In any event, lots of this ways and that ways to dodge the bullets. ("Serpentine!", a line from the old comedy movie, The Inlaws.)

Thanks for all your concern and prayers!

Cindi o'h

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Best of luck in that dodgin, Cindi! Serpentine...hmmmm!

Will you be up to posting after this procedure? And if you need a driver when you get out...well....I will check my calendar!

Really, Cindi, best of luck. You know who will be with ya, baby! ALL of us!



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I think in football, they call that broken field running, Cin! 8) And you just do as much dodging and snake-like moves as you can girl...to keep on ducking those bullets.

Thanks for the very complete explanation of the procedure, too...because otherwise I really had no clue what a talc procedure is...OR what VATS means.

Do ya ever get the feeling that you could hang out your own shingle for all you're starting to understand about this disease, whether or not you EVER wanted to know it? :roll:

Many, many good thoughts will be with you tomorrow, Cindi. 5 days in, huh? Well...better they keep a close eye on you than not...but sure hope to hear something asap that all went well and you're on the mend.

Remember....DON'T WORRY! :wink:

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Oh okay, now I understand what you are going in for.

You will get through that fine. But you must get plenty of rest (which you will with 5 days in the hospital) so you can heal.

So if you have this glue thing done, then you don't have to have that tube put in, the one that you would have to drain yourself??

Will be thinking of you and sending good vibes.

By the way, the road will be much better with you off it for awhile. I have seen your condition when you closed your pub and drove home. :shock::roll::)

take care my friend,



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Steve had the same pleuradesis right after dx two years ago and it has worked beautifully. A friend had it done 30 years ago (for different problem) and has no residual ill effects. Steve only notices it once in awhile with a hard cough or sneeze. All the best to you with the procedure :D

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I wish you the best of luck with all of this and your 5 day hospital stay. Someone said you will get plenty of rest...not if it is anything like my hospital stays have been. In and out every 2 hours day and night. If it turns out to be this way....call me. I had my husband and daughter stand guard at my door. They wouldn't let anyone in for 4 hours at a time....thus I did rest some.

Only way to handle those folks sometimes.

It sounds like you have full confindence in your care team and that is very important. Keeping you in my prayers.


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