What Are MIIPs? / PleurX


What is a PleurX Catheter?

A PleurX catheter is a long-term tube used to drain extra fluid from the chest.

What causes excess fluid in the chest?

Conditions that can cause fluid to build up in the chest include

  • pneumonia
  • congestive heart failure
  • liver disease
  • cancer
This fluid is called a pleural effusion. It collects between the lung and the chest wall.

When there is too much fluid, it can push on the lung and make it hard to breathe. Draining the fluid with a tiny tube can make it easier to breathe. This procedure is called a thoracentesis.

Who might need a PleurX catheter?

Some people keep building up fluid in the chest and need a thoracentesis on a regular basis. A PleurX catheter is an alternative way to drain the fluid at home.

The first part of the tube is tunneled under the skin to protect it against infection. You will be able to feel this part under your skin but it should not hurt.

You will be able to connect the tube to a special bottle to drain the fluid at home rather than at the hospital. Your doctor or nurse will show you how.

I need a PleurX catheter – what is the procedure like?

  1. An Interventional Radiologist (IR) places the PleurX catheter using ultrasound and x-rays to see inside the body.
  2. You may receive medicine to make you drowsy and comfortable.
  3. The IR will numbing your skin.
  4. The IR will tunnel the catheter just beneath the skin before it crosses through the chest wall into the pleural effusion. The procedure takes less than an hour.
  5. Your doctor will likely let you go home the same day. You can use it right away.

For more information about PleurX catheters:

When excess fluid in the chest is caused by cancer it is called malignant pleural effusion.
For more information:

© 2022 The Interventional Initiative, a California 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software