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Pleurodesis Mesothelioma Treatment - Mesothelioma Help Center
Pleurodesis mesothelioma treatment is a palliative surgical procedure that treats a symptom of mesothelioma (fluid build-up), but does not treat the disease. Doctors call this fluid collection a pleural effusion.
A surgical procedure, called a pleurodesis, can stop this fluid from building up and help relieve the symptoms. It seals the space between pleura with either sterile talc or an antibiotic. The idea is to put in something that will irritate the pleura causing them to stick together, preventing fluid buildup. This is achieved by introducing a chemical agent into the area, usually talc or doxycycline, which will cause the tissues to become enflamed and subsequently close the space between the layers.
Two options in performing pleurodesis mesothelioma treatment
- If the doctor believes that a patient does not fall into the high risk category, pleurodesis may be performed outside an operating room during hospitalization. A sedative and general anesthetic will be given to the patient and a chest tube will be inserted to drain any existing fluid. Depending on the extent of the fluid, this process may take a few days. When all the fluid is removed, the talc or doxycycline will be inserted through the chest tube and clamped to avoid leakage. A suction devise is then used to bring the two lung surfaces together.
- If your doctor chooses to perform pleurodesis in the operating room, you’ll be given a general anesthetic. A thoracic surgeon (a doctor who specializes in diseases of the chest) will make an incision in the chest and insert a video-assisted thorascope to assist in viewing the inside of the lung. The video will also help the doctor to insert the chemical agent directly onto the pleural surface. This procedure carries all the risks of any surgery, including allergies to anesthesia, infection, or bleeding.
You may or may not be a candidate for this procedure. If your lung capacity is already seriously diminished, pleurodesis may not work for you.