Does anyone have a pleurx drain fitted?

Hi - I am looking for advice/expereince.

I have been through a dramatic bloating phase which started early Nov. Towards the end of Nov I had all the fluid drained off in hospital - which took 3 days - but when I got home it started to build up immediately. I put on1.5 stone in 10 days. Last Wednesday I was fitted with a pleurx drain so the fluid can be drained off without a trio to hospital. At the moment the District Nurses are booked to come in every 2 days but I am hoping that i can learn to do this myself. Apparently it is moe common to use these drains for lungs - mine is draining the adomen. Has anyone any experience? At the moment I am slighly uncomfortabe and the draining process leaves me very tired. Any tips are very welcome - I am hoping to go to family over Christmas and would like to feel a bit more confident by then.

By the way, I have had 2 sessions of chemo in the past two years and that hs generally dealt with the ascites. This is a 3rd reoccurence and I will seeing the oncologist on Wednesday for results of the scan and to find out what, if anything, happens next.

love Angela

7 Replies

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  • Hi Angela,

    No experience of the drain, but I am really interested to hear about it so thanks for blogging. Looking on the web it looks to be highly effective and infection rate is low. You just need to take more care when you are chemo and have it regularly checked. It does say that the aim is to allow you to also be less dependant on hospital visits, and allow self management of the situaion.

    I am sure there will be more chemo you can have, a chemo a year sounds doable. Please let us know what happens on Wednesday when you are ready, I am rooting for you....

    Love the idea of your travelling Christmas Cake in your response the other blog.

    Take care Angela, and let us also know how the pleurx drain works out and thanks again for sharing the knowledge,

    Love Lizzie

    X

  • Hi Angela

    I have had the Pleurx Drain fitted to my chest for about 2 months now, and yes my husband and I manage to drain ourselves, it really is very straightforward and such a relief when the fluid comes off. I have a problem with fluid building up in the pleura which is a complete pain as it leaves me very breathless but having the Pleurx fitted has eased my condition and saves me trips to the hospital. If ever it starts to hurt which it has done on draining, just use the clamp and slow the process down and do it really slowly. I think this only happens when it is in the chest as the lung is re expanding and it can hurt.!

    Good luck with your drain, I am sure in no time you will be a dab hand at it.

    Have a lovely christmas and take good care. I hope that your meeting with the oncologist brings some positive news for you.

    Love

    Coco

  • Hiya,

    Ive had my pleurx since august! It is great I dont have to attend hospital! Any way I have the drain in my abdomen. It is easy to do, really its common sense and good hygiene which is needed. I'll be honest with you it can be uncomfortable as somebody has said previously just slow it down & it'll be more comfortable. You'll also need to get into a comfortable postion when draining I find it more comfortable laying on my side. The biggest issue I have is the tube gets trapped and 'pokes'

    my insides which can be a bit painful I have to jump about to get it dislodged.

    Its just become a way of life for me now. I dont have district nurses coming in but its in my favour i'm actually a nurse anyway so i'm quite confident. If you want to know anything else just let me know.

    All the best,

    Hayley

  • Hi Hayley, have been reading your comment about having a pleurx fitted in your abdomen. Since July I have had loads of bloating resulting in having two plural and two abdomen drains. Am now waiting to have another abdomen drain and maybe a pleurx fitted. Does having the pleurx stop you doing anything, Any advice would be helpful. Many thanks. Jean

  • Many thanks for your helpful replies. I feel much more confident now, With luck the District Nurse will hand over to us tomorrow so we will really be in control. I am a bit alramed about how much fluid builds up in 2 days, and we are still getting the supplies sorted but I think, as you say that it will become a way of life. Thanks for the practical tips Hayley.

    The oncologist didn't have the greatest news for me but it wasn't too much of a surprise. Tumours growing nicely. There is another chemo drug i could try but it sounds as if i would spend a lot of time going to hospital and the chances of it being beneficial aren't good. So we are into a 'quality' versus 'quantity decision. We have chosen to take a break over Christmas before finaly deciding. At least the pleurx drain should keep me comfortable meanwhile.

    love Angela

  • Hi Angela,

    First of all, how are you doing with your drain and decision about treatment?

    I also wanted to talk to you about bloating. I am doing that now and 2 of my oncologists said there is not enough to drain. In fact, I don't think they want to as they say they could hit my bowel etc. I can hardly stand up right, but I am only little and small amount of fluid goes along way to making me uncomfortable. Do you know how they decide when to drain you in terms of your physical appearance/capability?

    Love Lizzie

    X

  • Hi all. My name is John, I live in Walsall near Birmingham. I'm currently sat on a hospital bed at QE Hospital (in B'ham) and have just had a Pleurx Drain fitted to help with the Ascites I have developed from longterm heart failure problems.

    I actually had the procedure done this Monday lunchtime and have since had a very small amount of fluid drained so far as they are very cautious about making me feel too unwell due to the rapid release of pressure on my abdomen that draining can cause. So, its a very soft and steady increase for the next few days.

    My main question to those of you who already have a Pleurx abdominal drain fitted is: did/do you have any substantial pain inside your gut/belly days following the insertion? I must say that at no time in the lenthy discussions proir to agreeing to having the drain fitted was the any mention of this pain. Although now im being told its 'the norm' to get 'some discomfort' after ua procedure like this.

    I supose the best way to describe my pain is like accute bowl blockage or soreness throughout my whole lower abdomenal/bowl area, with the occasionall sharp 'twinge'. Much like a severe need open the bowels?

    I have discussed the painwith doctors and nursing staff, and i have been sent for an xray too. They assure me that the drain is located well and is not causing any undue pressure or internal taring etc, and it should ease off soon. (but doctors have a habbit of saying things like that just before they change their mind and mess with things again, dont they?! Lol.

    A rep from the drain company sould be visiting me on-ward tomorrow to discuss the usage and methods of self-care in readiness for me going home when they allow it.

    Any feed back or advice is very welcome.

    Cheers.

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