The surgeons recommend Indwelling Pleural Catheter (IPC) insertion in patients with pleural effusions. The most common cause of pleural effusion that requires IPC insertion is malignancy-induced pleural effusion. However, IPC insertion is also effective in managing non-malignant effusions. It manages recurrent pleural effusions, improves shortness of breath, and enhances the overall quality of life.
IPC offers several advantages to patients suffering from pleural effusions. These include improved quality of life, low failure rate, low initial cost, and fewer days of hospitalization. The procedure for insertion is also performed as an outpatient,
The complications associated with IPC insertion are pain during insertion, bleeding, infection, lung injury, catheter blockage, catheter dislodgement, and catheter tract metastases. Some of these complications are managed through medications, such as analgesics and antibiotics. The others are managed by replacing or removing the IPC.