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Pleuradesis and Alimta

frances3211
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2007

Anyone had experience with subject that they want to discuss?

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

I haven't personally, but you might want to speak to Kaitek, or search "talc" in the discussion board.

kaitek
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

Hello,

I'm not sure what exact details you're interested in stayingcalm so I'll provide my mom's experiences from her pleurodesis on. Oh, my mother has never been put on Alitma. Reinstones1's mother had background in both. You may want to search for her posts instead.

With my mom, her pleurodesis was performed at the hospital where talc was inserted between the lung linings. During her hospital stay to recover and get to the point where she wasn't still excreting as much fluids, the nurse practioner had to inject more talc into the linings because they suspected the first pleurodesis procedure didn't take. She was in the hospital for 8 days and started chemo in less than a week. Keep in mind the talc is meant to irritate the lungs so it does cause a lot of coughing.

It took a long time for the drainage incision to heal completely (about 3 months) so fluids were still leaking from it. During that time, she didn't have any difficulty in breathing. But when the incision healed, the fluids began to accumulate in pockets of the lining. The fluids weren't small but enough to affect the breathing when she would walk some distance. The heavy breathing wasn't so bad such that she needed a tapping. If she needed a tapping, it would have been tricky because of the pockets of spaces between the linings from the original state of continuous space.

The thoracic surgeon who performed the pleurodesis said that it is 85% effective. The oncologist gave a lower rate of efficacy (which I can't remember now). Whether it works for a patient, it does buy some time for breathing ease while the chemo attacks the cancerous cells causing the fluid accumulation.

If you have any specific question, please feel free to ask. I hope my response addresses your curiosity.

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

I'm sorry for the misunderstanding, Kaitek- I had noticed that you had some posts about pleuradesis and was suggesting to Frances3211 that she contact you since it was she who had the question. Guess I haven't gotten the hang of this discussion board...

kaitek
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

No, no, you're fine, stayingcalm. I got myself mixed up with the names. I intended to respond under your message since you brought up my posts, but my comments were directed to frances3211. My brain misfired in not referring to the starting message; instead I took an immediate look at the message replied to which gets put at the top.

It was all my fault. No need to apologize for any misunderstanding.

If you hadn't mentioned my posts, I would have in all likelihood not commented as I don't have any first or secondhand experience with Alitma and I'm not sure what specifically frances3211 was looking for.

In general, pleurodesis isn't a guaranteed or sure-fire remedy for effusions. And it might cause what otherwise would be a fairly straight-forward procedure of thoracentesis into a more tricky one requiring more accuracy of the drainage. But at the very least, it does buy some time to ease breathing (and alleviate a symptom) while chemo hopefully works on the cancer cells. I hope Frances3211 got something out of my account.

frances3211
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2007

Thank you Kaitek for the info. I am in the process of making exactly that decision...pleurodesis or shunt or periodic thorocentesis. Appt w/surgeon this week. Alimta, now used for NSCLC with pleural effusion, is used mainly for mesothelioma.

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