Recurrent or chronic medical conditions are often demoralising and draining. However, there are ways to prevent or reduce the recurrence of certain conditions. Treatment options like a pleurodesis can help with chronic or recurrent lung conditions.
There is usually a small amount of fluid within the pleural cavity, however, when there is an excess of fluid build-up, the lungs are not able to expand properly, resulting in a condition known as pleural effusion. Another condition that can affect breathing is a collapsed lung, also known as pneumothorax. Both of these conditions are life-threatening and can cause difficulty in breathing, pain, and coughing. When either of these conditions occurs, it can be corrected by a number of treatment options such as a thoracentesis or needle aspiration. However, in certain individuals, these conditions may continue to recur despite optimal therapy. This is when a pleurodesis can be performed.
A pleurodesis is a procedure that uses medicine to stick the lungs to the chest wall. This removes the space between the lungs and the pleural cavity, which reduces the likelihood of pleural effusion or pneumothorax recurring.
A pleurodesis is an inpatient procedure and can be done alone or in combination with another treatment known as a thorascopy or a thorascotomy – where a small camera is used to look inside the chest or fluid/air is drained from around the lungs.
The whole procedure will take about 1.5 hours and you will have to stay in the hospital for about 3-5 days. A chest x-ray will be taken to check that the lungs are stuck to the chest wall and have re-expanded.
You may feel a bit groggy after the procedure, so you will be monitored for a few hours to ensure that you recover well. A chest x-ray might be performed after the procedure to ensure that no damage was done to your lungs and to ensure that your lungs have re-expanded and are stuck to the chest wall.
Pleurodesis is a minimally invasive procedure in Singapore, but like all medical procedures, some risks are involved, such as:
Recovery takes approximately 5-7 days.
If pleurodesis fails, the procedure can be repeated.