Jump to content

pleural effusion questions


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone~

My mom has pleural effusion. This is the first time so I have lots of questions. I already looked up many past discussions here but there is always more to learn!

My mom has been so short of breath and tired. The scan was stable cancer-wise just the pleural effusion showed up.

I'm thinking that the tiredness is due alot to the SOB just wiping her out. After the fluid was drained or whatever treatment was administered, did the SOB go away and the tiredness?? If you are on oxygen, did the treatments help in that area?


Kelly :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kelly,sorry your mom has PE.I never had to deal with that yet.Seems to me tho that many here felt much better after having the fluid removed.There are several diff ways they remove it tho.

I can vouch for the shortness of breath tho,it really does wear you down after a while.Sometimes just little exertions wear you out.Hoping she improves a lot after the fluid is gone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Hope Mom continues to feel relief after getting that fluid taken care of. Be sure to keep us updated, okay? I have no experience with it myself, BUT many have and have gone on to be cnacer free and NED, so keep the faith, okay?

Love to you both,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

the shortness of breath should be considerably better after getting the fluid drained off. Fatigue has been a problme for me for years so can say anything about that. Breathing was much better for me after getting the fluid out. praying for your mom. pammie

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Sorry to hear your Mom isn't doing well. I had the PE drained and got almost immediate relief from the SOB. That was a year and a half ago and it hasn't come back to any extent thus far. Each CT shows it being there, sometimes a little less and at times a slight increase.

If it does come back, there are a couple options to relieve it. One is to insert some sort of a drain in there so you can drain it yourself. I think TANN had that one and there is another where they spray talcum around the lung in an attempt to have the lung fuse to the Pleural wall. Not sure of successes there. Might try asking the Experts. Good luck and God Bless.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Kelley.

I have had many effusions. Some I had relief following the drain, others I did not. However, I have other concurrent problems.

I have had no recurrence of cancer. The fluid build up for me was from some chyle that got away. (chylothorax). I continue to have effusions that show on the scans that are moderate to large.

I am sob. It is fatiguing. There are times when I panic until I catch my breath. Sometimes several times a day. Terrible feeling. I am thinking about getting on some ativan or morphine to help with these panicky events. I will talk to someone about it anyway.

Good luck.

If you need more info. you can pm me.

TAnn, like Charlie said, is a good source too.

Cindi o'h

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My friend who has Stage IV ovarian cancer had a LOT of trouble with recurrent pleural effusions that were quite large. They could never get all the fluid out at once for fear of causing a pneumothorax. She would always get some relief from the 2 liters they could drain but it would fill right back up so they put an internal drain in and now she is feeling MUCH better. Her SOB is gone and her energy level is improved.

Most recurrent PE's are handled with some sort of irritant being introduced between the pleural layers. Talc is the most common. This method can only be done if all the fluid can be drained before introducing the talc. In my friend's case that was just not possible and that's why she had the drain put in.

Hopefully your Mom can just have hers drained and it won't recur. I hope she will get relief from her symptoms soon.

God Bless.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Yes, I have had alot of experience with pleural effusions. In fact, that's how I was diagnosed, with a malignant pleural effusion in the right lung.

My best suggestion is that if the effusion shows progression with each x-ray, definately get it drained. I had 4 thoracentesis procedures and felt better with the SOB, but the fluid kept coming back. At one point the fluid completely encased my right lung. I then had a tube inserted in the pleural space that my husband helped me drain every day for about 5 1/2 weeks, until no fluid was left. The lung produced the scar tissue on it's own after the tube was removed and re-accumulation has not happened since.

Also, many have had no problems with the talc procedure. This is done as an in-patient procedure where they basically do the same type tube that I had and once the fluid is completely drained, they insert talc to "scar" up the pleura and prevent any more fluid from forming. You are in the hospital for a few days, or however long it takes for all the fluid to drain.

hope this helps...


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.