What is a Pleurodesis?
A pleurodesis is a procedure that is done to
treat recurrent collapsed lungs or fluid build
up between the lung and chest wall lining
that will not go away. Medicines
(Doxycycline or talc powder) are put into
the space between your lung and chest wall.
This causes irritation or inflammation
between the two layers, helping the lung
stick to the wall of the chest. The goal is to
stop the buildup of fluid and/or air in that
space and keep the lung inflated.
When done in your hospital room,
Doxycycline or talc is injected into a chest
tube. The chest tube is then clamped or
hung from a pole to make sure that the
medicine stays in your chest. You will be
asked to change your position every 30
minutes for about two hours to move the
medicine around inside your chest cavity.
You will have pain with this procedure.
You will be given a PCA (Patient Controlled
Analgesia) which allows you to give
yourself your own dose of medicine to help
relieve pain. Your nurse will check your
breathing and heart rate often.
If done in the operating room, the medicines
can be put right on your lung. You will not
need to change positions.
In either case (done in the room or in the
operating room) a chest tube will remain in
place for at least 48 hours or until the lung
tissues have stuck together. You will have a
daily chest X-ray to check your progress.
ξ You may have more than one small
incision depending on whether you had
lung surgery or just a chest tube placed
for this procedure.
After the chest tube is removed,
leave the chest tube dressing in place
for 48 hours. Remove the dressing
ξ After the chest tube dressing is removed
(48 hours), you may shower or wash the
wound(s) daily with a mild soap. Pat
them dry. Do not rub them because this
ξ Do not put lotions, powders, or
ointments on the incision(s).
ξ Do not soak in a bathtub, hot tub, or go
swimming until they are healed.
ξ Check wounds daily for:
Excess swelling or bleeding
Temperature (by mouth) greater
than 100.4 ° F. for two readings
taken 4 hours apart
There may be a small amount of drainage
from the chest tube site for a day or two.
Wear a Band-aid® or small dressing over it
until the drainage stops. Change the
dressing daily as needed.
It is common to have pain.
When you are in pain, take your pain pills as
ordered. If the pain is sharp and constant or
gets worse, call your doctor.
Avoid anti-inflammatory pain medicines
(NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen and Motrin®
for at least 7 days. You will be told if you
can start taking them again after your follow
ξ Do not strain, bear down, or hold your
breath during activities, such as during a
ξ Do not lift more than 10 pounds until
your doctor says it is okay.
ξ Do not drive for 2 weeks and/or if you
are taking narcotic pain pills.
ξ Check with your doctor before going
back to work.
When to Call the Doctor
ξ Signs of infection
Increased redness or warmth of the
Excess swelling or bleeding
Temperature over 100.4°F (by
mouth), for two readings, 4 hours
ξ Pain not controlled with pain pills
ξ Fatigue or tiredness
ξ Body aches
Sudden start of sharp chest pain with
shortness of breath or difficulty with
breathing – Call 911.
Surgery Clinic, Mon-Fri: 8:00 – 4:30,
Dr. Maloney’s Office: (608) 263-5215
Dr. Macke’s Office: (608) 263-5215
After hours, nights, weekends, holidays
the paging operator will take your call
(608) 262-2122. Ask for the thoracic surgery
resident on call. Leave your name, and
phone number with area code. The doctor
will call you back.
If you live out of the area, please call:
Toll Free: 1-800-323-8942.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 5/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5847