15211 Vanowen St. Suite 205
Van Nuys, CA 91405
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VATS Pleurodesis

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery and pleurodesis is the procedure that is done under general anesthesia.  It requires a higher level of surgical expertise.  In our experience treating many patients with malignant pleural effusion, we have learned that pleurodesis needs to be done with multiple modalities.  These modalities include both electrical and argon beam coagulation in addition to mechanical pleurodesis and chemical pleurodesis which includes talc pleurodesis into the pleural cavity. The procedure usually takes about two hours for a complete pleurodesis of one side of the chest cavity.  The patient subsequently will have a chest tube for further drainage over the course of the next several days.

In our recent observation in order to discharge patients sooner to their home and to their loved ones, we have also used a tunneled pleural catheter/PleurX catheter in at the time of the pleurodesis.  The tripled pleurodesis modality that we use works in the high percentage of patients achieving pleurodesis and resolution of the pleural effusion.  However, this process takes time, usually between one to several weeks after the procedure is completed for the pleural effusion to mostly go away.  We have learned that during this time patients can go home with a small PleurX catheter that would drain the fluid in a home environment.  This allows for patients to spend valuable time with the family members and the loved ones until the final pleurodesis results are achieved.  The patient drains the fluid into a small bag on a daily basis.  The amount of fluid drained is reported to our office on a daily basis.  Once the drainage is acceptable, the PleurX catheter can be removed on an outpatient basis and the patient goes home the same day.

Patients who have only a few weeks or months left to live are probably best treated with repeat thoracentesis and are not good candidate to undergo VATS with pleurodesis.  However, it should be remembered that every thoracentesis has risks that are associated with it.



California Pleural Effusion
15211 Vanowen St. Suite 205
Van Nuys, CA 91405

tel: (818) 908-9752
email: info@treatpleuraleffusion.com


Identifying the cause of the effusion is important because the treatment will be targeted towards this cause. The doctor will find a treatment that will work best on the patient based on what type of effusion and symptoms the patient have.
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