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PleurX Catheter Placement

Tunneled Pleural and Peritoneal Catheter Placement

Tunneled Pleural and Peritoneal Catheter

Tunneled pleural and peritoneal catheter insertion is performed as a treatment option for recurrent pleural effusion (pleural fluid) or ascites (fluid in the abdomen). Your pleura is a large, thin sheet of tissue that wraps around the outside of your lungs and lines the inside of your chest cavity. Patients with lung cancer, chylothorax, metastatic, cancers, liver disease, and advanced congestive heart failure are typically candidates for this procedure.

Most patients have reoccurring accumulation of pleural fluid, resulting in breathing issues, chest pain, cough, and the inability to lie flat. Additionally, patients with ascites due to cancer are able to have a tunneled peritoneal catheter placed to relieve their abdomen fullness, pain, and breathing issues.

Why is it used?

  • Catheters offer a minimal invasive approach that allows daily or every other day drainage of recurrent fluid at home, without needing weekly appointments for thoracentesis or paracentesis

What Makes Tunneled Pleural/Peritoneal Catheters Different?

  • Used in combination with a disposable bottle collection system
  • These bottles are connected to the catheters and contain a vacuum that gently removes the fluid
  • A drainage schedule is created and either the patient, family members, or home nursing can assist with drainage
  • Once completed, a discrete sterile dressing is applied over the catheter

Benefits of Tunneled Pleural/Peritoneal Catheters

  • Minimal invasive alternative to draining recurrent pleural fluid and ascites, which allows patients to drain fluid at home, avoiding numerous appointments for thoracentesis or paracentesis.

Learn More About tunneled Pleural/Peritoneal Catheters

We recommend the educational video at Carefusion for more information on how to properly drain fluid from pleural effusions.   

All referrals will still have the option of continuing their treatment with their primary care physicians after the tunneled catheter procedure.

For an appointment, for more information, or to find out how to refer a patient, please contact the Interventional Pulmonology Unit, 619-543-5840.

Interventional Pulmonology
UC San Diego Medical Center, 3rd Floor, South Wing
200 West Arbor Drive
San Diego, CA 619-543-5840