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Implanting a Drain to Address Continuing Fluid Build-up

Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2011

My wife is stage 4 lung cancer survivor. She developed shortness of breath during radiation and satrted to accumulate fluid on the lung. She has now had the Thorencentesis procedure on 4 occasions to remove fluid. Each time she feels great for about a week -- then the heavy congestion and wheezing returns. Her pulmonologist suggested a procedure by which they insert a permanent drain that gets sucked out every few days - the spouse can be trained to do the suctioning. Has anyone here has this procedure performed? And does it dramatically improve the ongoing breathing situation?

Thanks for whatever info you can provide.

Charlotte, NC

Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2011

Sorry to hear about your wife. My wife also has stage iv lung cancer and had a catheter implanted in Aug.

It has worked very well. The name of the drainage kit we use is called "PleurX Drainage Kit" from CareFusion.

My wife drains everyday, 400ml on avg,

Once they train you and you do it a few times its not difficult. Just keep the area clean when putting on the dressing around the drain tube.

Hope this helps.

What chemo is your wife on ?

Currently my wife just started a combination of erbitux and tykerb.

Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2011

Thanks for your note. Mrgaret is on Tarceva, 150 mg per day. But last week she started with severe exhaustion -- almost out on her feet, so we reduced the dosage to 75 mg. I also talked to the specialty pharmacy pharmacist about fatigue as a side effect -- he did not think her case was consistent with what they usually see. So, I am beginning to think it is the 30 mg oxycondone she is taking every 4 hrs for pain. I usually give her one in the AM before breakfast -- turns out that is worst thing you can do. They told me never take it on an empty stomach -- so I will be vigilant about it.

Thanks for sharing the info about the drain -- 400 ml each day sounds like a lot -- but I expect she feels so much better for it. I hope she continues to do well.


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