Capital & Coast DHB Cardiothoracic Service
The lungs are surrounded by membranes called pleura. A pleurodesis involves adhering the inner and out pleura of a lung together. This may be required due to recurrent pneumothorax (collapsed lung), or pleural effusion (build up of fluid between the pleura).
The pleura can be stuck together using a substance that irritates and inflames the surfaces of the membrane. A sterile version of talcum powder is often used for this purpose, or certain chemicals are sometimes used instead. Alternatively surgical techniques can be used. If surgical techniques are used then this requires a thoracotomy or VATS procedure under general anaesthetic. If a substance is being used then it may be possible to do this using chest drains that are usually already in place. This does not require general anaesthetic.