What is a PleurX Catheter?
Your healthcare provider has requested that you undergo the placement of a PleurX catheter. Your symptoms or findings indicate that there is fluid around your lung (pleural effusion) or in your abdomen (ascites) that needs to be drained. A PleurX catheter is designed to allow drainage of this fluid from outside the hospital setting. It is most beneficial to those who suffer frequent fluid build up and wish to avoid repeated trips to the hospital for drainage.
How Should I Prepare?
You should not eat or drink anything for six hours prior to your procedure. You may take your medications as directed. Speak to your doctor if you need to adjust your insulin dosing. Prior to your procedure, you should make sure all medications and allergies are updated. If you are on a blood thinner you may be requested to stop that medication for a period of time.
How is the Procedure Performed?
The procedure will be performed by an interventional radiologist, who is a physician with specific training in image-guided procedures. The procedure may be performed under fluoroscopy (x-ray) or CT. Intravenous medications may be given to make you more comfortable and relaxed. This is called conscious sedation.
After the target area has been marked, your skin will be cleaned with a sterilizing solution and numbing medication injected. The procedure involves placing a small tube through the skin and into the built up fluid. The tube is tunneled under the skin for a short distance. The exposed portion of tubing will typically be concealed under your clothing. This tube is designed to be connected to special bottles for drainage of fluid when needed.
What should I expect after the procedure?
Following the procedure, you will be monitored for a period of time for any complications. If you are in the hospital, arrangements will be made to provide education on the PleurX drainage kit and the ordering of necessary supplies.