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question about having the talc blown in!!

PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:50 pm
by queenphoton
Hi there, I know that Pat and maybe others have had the procedure done where they insert talc into the chest area to help combat pleural effusions. I am taking my father to a thoracic surgeon on Wednesday and I questioning everything about this procedure. Does it work, how long did you stay in the hospital, etc.

My father is 85yrs old and I'm not totally convinced that all of his breathing problems is from fluid back up. He also suffers from a moderate form of pulmonary hypertension which also causes shortness of breath. He recently had a thorancentisis (sorry my spelling is a bit off today) and he really didn't notice any great relief in his breathing. Is this something that any of you started experiencing?

Thanks so much for all the great help
mary ann

Re: question about having the talc blown in!!

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:11 am
by patoco
Hi Mary Ann

The talc really didn't do to much to help me and actually the lung/lining that had been sealed by the talc pulled apart after a couple months.

The thoracentesis should initially help provide immediate breathing relief. What happens though is that each time the lung cavity fills with fluid, it damages the lung tissue itself. When the fluid fills that cavity, the lung is unable to expand and perform its task and so the tissue begins to loose it elasticity. Eventually scar tissue forms and makes the situation even worse. Then when the fluid is removed, it becomes harder and harder for the lungs to expand - basically, i guess you could say the tissues become more brittle.

It's interesting that they found my lungs have the same type of tissue damaged xperienced by cystic fibrosis patients who also have problems with this.

When they did the talc on me, the procedure itself was quick - very light general anesthesia. They did kee me in the hospital for a couple days though to monitoy how I did and to make sure there were no problems. With your father's age, I'm sure they will keep him at least three days.


Re: question about having the talc blown in!!

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:30 pm
by queenphoton
Thanks Pat,
Do you have problems breathing when you are just sitting? See he is just fine when he's sitting in a chair and not moving, when you decides to move, the shortness of breath kicks in. I can see where the lung tissue could be damaged since we have been having the thoracentesis done now for about 1 year and about every 3 mths to now less than 2 mths in between drainings.
See I'm trying hard to determine if his shortness of breath is more from the lymphedema, pulmonary hypertension or his right sided heart failure. We have a few issues here that we are dealing with and they all cause shortness of breath.

Thanks for you time,
Mary Ann

Re: question about having the talc blown in!!

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:42 am
by patoco
Hi Mary Ann

I do ok too while I'm sitting down, it's when I get up and do things that the shortness of breath kicks in. I remember one time when I was going through the worse period that I tried vacuum a regular size dining room and I had to stop three times just to catch my breath. It was really tough.

It very well could be that all three factors are contributing to his breathing problems. I can't imagine how difficult that must be for him. Looking at things though I kinda have the feeing the pulmonary hyptertension would come in first, right sided heart failure second and the lymphedema third.

The talc may work for him Mary Ann, at least that might be one step towards improvement. I'm fairly convinced that the talc didn't work for me because I was still working full time, trying to take care of a house etc. I may have been just too active and done something myself.

That was also a big factor in my health - I was just too dumb to know when to quit. Looking back, I honestly don't know how I continued to work for that long.

Anyway...think about it. Even a small step might improve his quality of life. That's critical for both physical and emotional health. I think of everything I've gone through medically, it was the inability to breathe that was the most devastating both physically and emotionally.

Give my best to your dad - just really wish there was something more I could do to help.

My best to you both :!: :!: