Pleural Effusion Update

Good Afternoon,

I hope all is well in your world. In my world, every thing is wonderful because God is in control.

I wanted to give you an update on what is happening with me and this (effusion) fluid issue; you know one of those bumps in the road. In earlier post I told you about the ultrasound guided thoracentesis on July 20, 2007. Well the fluid came back and I also noticed some swelling and pain in my abdomen and my left leg. Dr. Thompson wanted to conduct some additional test, so he ordered an ultrasound on my abdomen and some blood work. This was conducted at the AnMed main hospital. The fluid in my left lung had gotten to the point where just walking in the house would cause me to labor to breath, therefore Dr. Thompson also ordered another ultrasound guided thoracentesis to be conducted after the ultrasound on my abdomen. The ultrasound guided thoracentesis produced 2500mls or 2.5 liters. It all went very well; the folks taking care of me again were both professional and caring. Again I talk about how great some one was to me who I thanked for stabbing me in the back and arm with sharp instruments and the putting tubes in places that God did not leave a natural hole for. These procedures were virtually painless and most of all relieving, hence I can breath so much better now. I am so blessed with many family and friends taking care of me and praying for me. I am equally blessed to have the best medical team taking care of me. Dr. James Kopp, a great long time friend and my personal doctor and liver specialist here at home, Dr. Ira Wilner, my hepatologist and friend in Charleston, and Dr. Charles Thompson, my pulmonolotgist and friend in Anderson. I also must acknowledge their great staff, for they are the ones who first listen to my whining, but don’t seem to mind my whining. These great minds are in communication with each other to determine the cause of this (effusion) fluid and how is the best way to resolve this issue. The issue with the (pleural effusion) fluid in my lung comes from the fact that there is a substance in each of our bodies on the exterior of our lungs that causes our lung walls to stick to the chest wall, at some point my left lung has lost it’s sticky, therefore resulting in a pleural effusion, fluid pooling up in the area around my lung and chest wall. There is a procedure that will fix the problem, and after Dr. Thompson has discussed the possible treatments with Dr. Wilner, they concluded that Dr. Thompson will have a surgeon perform a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) with biopsy and pleurodesis (putting in medicine, powder that will cause a chemical reaction, to cause the lung to stick to the chest wall and prevent recurrent accumulation). This will only be a 2 or 3 day hospital stay in Anderson. Dr. Wilner did tell Dr. Thompson that effusions of this type are not common after liver transplant. Dr Thompson had some other test conducted to determine the cause of the effusions, fluid generation. I have an appointment to see Dr. Thompson next week for the next step.

I hope each of you have a great weekend, stay cool.


The more you stay out of the heat the cooler you will be!!

God Bless You,


FYI – My chest x-ray just after the ultrasound guided thoracentesis on 7-20-2007 that yeilded
3.6 liters.

Right Left


2 Responses to “Pleural Effusion Update”

  1. WEHAVE5 Says:

    My husband started having breathing problems the second night of our trip to New Orleans, Louisiana at the end of July. After two weeks of this, he finally allowed me to make a doctor’s appointment for him. They admitted him to the hospital for two days to rule out congestive heart failure and sent him home with a diuretic called Lasex(?) which did nothing. Fluid started to build up in the pleual cavity behind both lungs. They have done two thorocentises(?) and so far the lab work received has shown nothing. We are still waiting for a couple of tests. I am so worried. He has never been ill, has always been healthy, not a smoker (except for the occasional cigar on the golf course) and not a heavy drinker. I can’t understand why it is so hard to get a diagnosis. Have you been diagnosed?

  2. WEHAVE5 Says:

    Just to add a note, I just finished reading some of your postings. I scanned them quickly, you had a liver transplant? They did an abdominal CT scan to look at my husband’s liver and said they only saw a cyst inside, but nothing to worry about. However, his albumin level has been high in his blood work and he has had a lot of indigestion recently. What kind of tests did they do on your liver? Oh and by the way, our last names are similar. Our name is Medley.

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