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Jan 20, 2014 11:19AM
shaM, I am sorry for what your mother is going through, and you are a wonderful and loving advocate to reach out on her behalf!
Your mother's breathing difficulties are likely due to either liquid (effusion) around the lining of the lung, and/or heart issues. Id strongly suggest that the doctor examines her for pleural effusion and orders a full check on her heart.
If liquid is found around the lungs, it should be drained to ease her breathing. There are three options for this:
Thoracentesis (sometimes referred to as
“tapping”)is an outpatient
procedure thatinvolves placing one
needle per required side into the pleural space. Although local anesthesia is
administered, this procedure can be uncomfortable and can cause scarring if
repeated over time, and the procedure may not impede fluid buildup again.
Pleurx or Aspira
Catheter: This is the surgical insertion, under general
anesthesia, of a small tube placed temporarily into the pleural space that
allows you or your family member to drain the fluid into a bottle as needed. Once there is no more drainage, the catheter
is removed. This procedure seems to help
prevent the fluid from building up again, provided that systemic treatment such
as chemotherapy or hormonal therapy is working.
The Pleurx catheter works via suction, and the newer gentler model is
the Aspira catheter, which uses gravity for draining.
Pleurodesis (sometimes referred to as a “talc procedure”) is a
process in which substances, such as talc, are used to try to get the edge of
the lung to stick to the chest wall to decrease the chance of the fluid
returning. Although this procedure seems
to help prevent the fluid from building up again (provided that systemic
treatment such as chemotherapy or hormonal therapy is working) it can be
painful and usually requires a brief hospital stay.
I hope your mother feels much better very soon!
10/6/2011, IDC, Left, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2-