pleural effusion

Has anyone had this condition…if so have you had drainage done more than once?
Is there any way of stopping the fluid from accumulating?
I had both sides drained in March, have had 6 x taxotere which finished 30/06/10, but I’m sure the fluid is back as I feel breathless and “tight” across the chest.

Thanks in anticipation!!

Sandra x

Hi Sandra

I work as a respiratory nurse specialist, so have seen this quite a lot. Would I be right in thinking you have lung secondaries? The fluid can come back and need draining again but unfortunately, I dont know a way of preventing this happening. A collapsed lung can be treated but that is a diffent thing. Feeling breathless and tight in your chest may indicate it is back but this can also be caused by other things. It is easy to identify a plural effusion on chest examination, unless its tiny, so I’d advise you see GP. Please feel free to pm me if you want to chat further and in private.

Take care

Julia xx

Julia, thanks for your pm. Not sure why, but I haven’t been able to reply via pm…just wanted to thank you for the info!

All the best, Sandra xx

Thanks Sandra. I hope you are well

Julia xx

Hi Sandra - I am just out of hospital with Pleural Effusion for second time. They tried to asspirate fluid, but too much there so they had to put in chest drain. This was in for couple of days (not pleasant). All in all they must have taken about 4 litres.
I have secondary in my ovary, and on chemo to try and reduce tumour. I have been on and off chemo for the last 5 years. Up till now it has been Taxotere and Xeloda but just started new regime on Monday. Think once you get fluid, it is the sort of thing that comes back.
Hope you are coping OK

Sheila, Thanks for reply. I’m seeing GP on Mon.hope to get some answers re if the fluid has built up again. At the mo I seem to have lots of “bits & pieces” that are uncomfortable, but my breathing seems worse than it was.
I had aspiration the first time which removed about 1.5 ltrs from each side…they couldn’t get the drain in because of scar tissue on my mx side. I thought this was one of the most unpleasant things I’ve had done and dread having it done again!
What time gap did you have between yours? Are you feeling better now it’s done?
I have secondary in lymph nodes in neck and in the pleural, finished 6 x taxotere end of June, 3 month check is my next thing.

Look after yourself, Sandra .

Had this horrific experience done in February and pray I never have to endure it again, out of all the treatments etc I have had the chest drain was the worst & I cant begin to say how much i hated it and would be terrified if it ever came back. Although to be done under local aneathestic is a joke I would be asking to be knocked out if ever have to go through this ghastly experience again !!! sorry cant be of much use but just wanted to agree how awful it was.

Max x

Hi Sandra,

I was dx with a pleural effusion last June. I had the fluid drained and a lung biospy at the same time. It was the most horrific experience I have ever had. They did they lung biopsy under local anesthetic which they couldn’t numb and they released the fluid to quickly which meant my lung and me when into shock.

I had 3 fec & 3 Tax which ended last October this has kept me stable and at present I’m not having any reaccumalation, although there it feels there is still some fluid there but not casing me any trouble aprt from the pain from the scarring cause by the luid build up. I take painkillers and pregamblin for that which helps.

There are quite a few posts regarding plerual effusion and if you search for these I think you would find them useful.

I don’t know if your onc has suggested Pluerodesis, where the put an combination of talc in the pleural to seal the hole. There’s info on the Macmillan website.

I really hope you get some relief as I know how horrendous this was and after I had mine drained it was back within a few days.

Hope this is of some use, take good care of yourself.
with very best wishes

I have had this procedure twice. The second time they did a pluridoses (talc is put in to prevent it happening again, it doesn’t always work though). On the first ocassion it was done on the oncology ward at the bedside and seemed quite a hit and miss procedure. The second time I had it done in the Department of Respiratory Medicine, I was put under a mild sedation and given local anaesthetic. I wasn’t really aware of what was happening. Also they guided the tube in using ultrasound. All in all it was a much more ‘clinical procedure’ and much preferable to the first experience. Both times they drained off about 4 pints of fluid. I have not had any problems since the second time - touch wood - which was in November 2009.

Hi Sandra
I work in thoracic theatres. Yes I agree with Joy , they can do a talc pleuradisis or remove the pleura, both procudure are designed to get the lung to stick to the chest wall and so prevent the fluid build up. Hope this helps
Margaret xxx

Hello everyone,
Many thanks for your replies, it sounds as though having drains / aspiration done in Respiratory Dept is less of an ordeal than onc ward, which is where I had mine done…the less I know about it, the better!!

Until I see GP I’m not 100% sure my symptoms are due to the fluid build up, but I suspect it is. If it is I’m going to request it’s done in Resp. Dept!!

Hope everyone is well and have had a good weekend. Mine was very special as my daughter gave birth to our first grandaughter this morning at 9.48. Baby’s name is Lily, she weighs 5lb 5oz, is beautiful and I’m delighted to have been there to witness her birth…very emotional for lots of reasons that I’m sure you’ll know!!

Sandra x

i have severe breathlessness back but just had a CT scan and immediate chest x ray done when i mentinoed to onc last week and he said no cause for alarm small amount of fluid is building up in both lungs but too little to aspire and far too little to make me feel so breathless they are going to keep an eye on it !! i am worried sick as this is the worst breathlessness i have felt ! going to gp tomorrow as have had a bit of a cold and who knows could be connected.

love max xx

Hi Max,

Sorry to hear youre so breathlesss and its understandable that you’re worried sick.

I really hope its because you have an infection (sounds bad?) but you know what I mean and that a course of antibiotics does the trick.

Take care of yourself


My mum had 2 pleural effusions, and we asked for her to have a pleuradhesis to help prevent it happening again.

Basically they blow something like talc into the pleural cavity, which makes the pleural membrains ahere together and therefore prevent fluid gathering there again.

Mum had this done in July 2009 and has not needed another effusion since.

Hope tis helps :slight_smile:

Posted on behalf of new user Lisa:

I was also diagnosed with secondary in my lung, liver and bones. I had a plural effusion and had it drained and talc put into the lung. It wasn’t pleasant as I had to have a chest drain in but touch wood I have not been breathless since.