Pleurodesis is a procedure that uses medicine to adhere the lung to the chest wall. It seals the space between the outer lining of the lung and chest wall to prevent fluid or air from building up around the lungs. You may require a pleurodesis if you are experiencing a recurring collapsed lung (pneumothorax) or an ongoing buildup of fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion). When there is too much fluid in the space between the lungs and chest wall (pleural space), the lungs can’t expand properly.

A variety of conditions can cause extra fluid to build up in the pleural space, including:

  • heart failure
  • pneumonia
  • tuberculosis
  • cancer
  • liver and kidney disease
  • inflammation of the pancreas
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • Before the start of the procedure, local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the incision will be made.
  • The doctor will make a small incision and insert a camera and also a narrow tube called a chest tube to drain the fluid.
  • Once the fluid is drained, talc powder, doxycycline or another medicine will be injected into the pleural space through the chest tube.
  • The medicine will coat the outside of the lungs and create a sticky surface that will cause it to adhere to the chest wall.
  • The doctor might do an X-ray to confirm the success of the procedure.

The risks of the procedure include:

  • infection
  • pus in the pleural space
  • fever
  • pain
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