Pleurx Drain Insertion

A pleurx drain is a special type of tube which is inserted under the skin into either the abdomen or chest. It is used to allow safe and quick drainage of fluid. In patients where fluid in these places builds up very quickly and has to be drained regularly, a pleurx drain allows regular drainage without the need for a needle to be inserted. The pleurx drain can also be used to drain fluid at home or in rooms, without the need for admission for a procedure.

 A tunnelled pleurx drain can be used for symptoms of fullness in the abdomen, or if abdominal swelling is causing problems with breathing.

FAQ

How do I know if I am a candidate?
What investigations or scans are needed?
How long is the procedure?
Do I need an anaesthetic?
How is the procedure performed?
How long will I be in hospital?
What is the recovery period?
Is this treatment for everyone?
How do I know if I am a candidate?

Initial patient enquiries are welcome. Send us an email or call and we will email a patient information form for you to complete.

Ask your GP to refer you for a consult. Note that consultations without a referral cannot be claimed from Medicare.

After listening to your symptoms and taking a medical history we will discuss further investigations or scans needed to establish whether you are a candidate

What investigations or scans are needed?

This will be discussed at time of consult but may include:

  • CT scan – to establish the location and depth of fluid
How long is the procedure?

The procedure takes about 30 mins.

Do I need an anaesthetic?

No. The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic. Sometimes sedation is used.

How is the procedure performed?

A pleurx drain is inserted by an interventional radiologist. After scanning to establish the safest and best point, a small needle is placed through the skin into the fluid. A plastic tube is then passed under the skin and through into the fluid. A valve on the end allows a special drainage bag to be attached which allows prompt drainage of fluid.

How long will I be in hospital?

You will stay for a few hours of observations and to allow the sedation to wear off.

What is the recovery period?

You will be able to return to normal activities the next day.

Is this treatment for everyone?

No. In those patients with symptoms in whom fluid recurs quickly then tunnelled pleurx drain insertion allows easy drainage without the need for repeat procedures.

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