Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Indwelling pleural catheter

What is an indwelling pleural catheter?

An indwelling pleural catheter is a small tube specially designed to drain fluid from around the lungs. This type of catheter is a soft, flexible tube with a diameter similar to a pencil. It is preferred over a chest tube, which must be inserted every time fluid builds up, is uncomfortable and carries risks.

The indwelling pleural catheter is placed inside the chest while patients are under local anesthesia. One end remains inside the chest and the other leads outside the body for drainage. The catheter does not limit patient activity.

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