Pleurodesis is a procedure that attaches the lungs to the chest wall. In certain cases of lung cancer, fluid builds up in the pleural space (the area between the lungs and the chest wall). This is known as pleural effusion. Pleural effusion keeps the lungs from fully expanding, so breathing can become difficult. Pleurodesis eliminates the pleural space so that fluid can’t accumulate.
What does it involve?
Pleurodesis can be performed chemically or surgically. In chemical pleurodesis, a local anesthetic is applied to an area of the chest and a small incision is made. A thin, flexible tube is passed through the opening and into the pleural space to drain excess fluid. A chemical agent that causes the lungs and chest wall to adhere to each other is then passed through the tube into the pleural space. In surgical pleurodesis, the chest is opened under general anesthesia, and talc, which also causes the lungs and chest wall to stick to each other, is blown into the pleural space.
Common side effects of pleurodesis include fever, pain, a feeling of tightness in the chest, and infection.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Palliative Procedures for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer — American Cancer Society
Pleurodesis — St. Vincent’s Hospital