Pleurodesis - Is It Right for You?

If you’ve ever had an infection in your lungs, you might have heard about pleurodesis, and how it can help keep your lungs clear of infection or scarring that would otherwise occur if you didn’t have the procedure done. But what exactly is pleurodesis? And what are the risks involved with this kind of procedure? Read on to learn more about pleurodesis and whether or not it could be right for you!

An Explanation of Pleurodesis

Pleurodesis is a surgical procedure used to seal off an opening in your lung or chest wall. This can be done to treat conditions such as persistent pneumothorax (collapsed lung), malignant pleural effusion (accumulation of fluid within your lungs) and others. Pleurodesis involves two operations: one to collapse your lung and another to re-inflate it.

The Drugs Involved

Pleurodesis is typically done through a minimally invasive procedure, with or without general anesthesia. A device is inserted into your body to deliver medication directly to your pleural space. Although many different medications can be used, most doctors administer talc (magnesium silicate) via a chest tube, often in combination with an antibiotic, such as ertapenem or cefotaxime.

Doctors Who Offer This Procedure

Contact us to find out more about pleurodesis and how you can benefit from it. To speak with one of our representatives about pleurodesis, call 800-986-0123. The information on our site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on our site.

What to Expect

Pleurodesis is a procedure that will require between one and two weeks of recovery, during which time you’ll be advised to take it easy. After a week, you should be able to resume normal activities. For patients who have had pleurodesis surgery on both sides, about 50 percent experience short-term (2–3 years) relief from their symptoms, although some may feel better immediately after surgery or after a few months.

Success Rates

The procedure’s success rate depends on many factors, including how severe your lung problem is and whether you had any previous thoracic surgery. Pleurodesis often works well to prevent recurrent pneumothorax (collapsed lung), but in one study it was only around 50% effective at preventing recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax. (1) Other studies have found pleurodesis to be more effective at preventing recurrent pneumothorax when it’s performed soon after initial surgery.

Recovery Time & Discharge Instructions

Discharge from your hospital stay will be determined by your doctor. While home, you'll need to rest. Be sure to follow any instructions that were given to you by your healthcare team about pain management and physical therapy exercises. Your healthcare team may also prescribe certain medications or supplements. (For example, if you had surgery on your knee joint, they may recommend taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements.

Possible Surgical Complications

In rare cases, he can result in complications like pneumothorax, infection, and vascular injury. If these complications do occur, they are often treatable and can be resolved before you leave the hospital. Most of these side effects will appear during your recovery and will fade as time passes. In some cases, they may require further treatment; however, most patients will experience little or no additional discomfort after surgery.

After Surgery – At Home Care Instructions

Returning home from surgery is a big deal, and you’ll likely have some restrictions following your pleurodesis. If you’re at home recovering, follow these guidelines to help ease back into everyday life

Follow Up with Your Doctor/Clinic

If you choose to have pleurodesis, follow up with your doctor/clinic as soon as possible after surgery. They will want to make sure that everything is healing properly and that you don’t have any complications. If it turns out that pleurodesis is not right for you, your doctor may recommend other treatment options. Even if you do decide to have pleurodesis, ask them to show you how to cough so that your lungs can stay clear of fluids.

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