Mesothelioma can sometimes cause the build up of fluid in the pleural cavity, this is located between the two pleura sheets (see below diagram). When this happens it is called a pleural effusion, it can be more difficult to breathe due to this build up of fluid. Treatment for this is called pleurodesis, your doctor will put medication which causes inflammation into the pleura, this causes the surfaces to become sticky and to bond together, sealing pleural cavity, preventing fluid or air from collecting there.
There are different ways to have this treatment. You may have it during a thoracoscopy or it may be inserted via a chest drain. A chest drain will be inserted under local anesthetic to drain away any fluid that has built up. When the fluid has stopped draining, the medication will be inserted through the chest drain. The chest drain is usually left in place for 24 -48 hours.
Pleuerodesis does not treat mesothelioma. It is used to manage pleural effusions which is a side-effect of mesothelioma.
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