I don’t mean to scare you, but this is precisely the reason I met the Director of Transplant Surgery at Florida Hospital. My husband had pleural effusion on the right side of his chest. He had an accident in October and I learned that his right lung was collapsed. They drew 3 ¾ liters of fluid off him. Then he was admitted to the hospital in November where they drained 4 ½ liters of fluid. They then put a chest tube in him and within 6 days, they drained another 10 liters of fluid via this chest tube. He was so dry he went into hepatic coma.
I had an absolute fit. I had done the same research as you have. The procedure you are referring to is called Thoracoscopic Talc Pleurodeses. It made sense to have the thoracic surgery with aerosolized talc. I figured that if they would stop the acites fluid from getting into the chest cavity, the breathing difficulties would be resolved and we could just carry-on with the normal cirrhosis issues.
With this knowledge, I exploded on the ICU. I demanded to see the pulmonary doctors and demanded a consultation with a thoracic surgeon. After chewing out more than 3 doctors, in walked the Director of Transplantation. He was arrogant and insisted I not allow my husband to have the procedure done. However, he seemed unwilling to explain why. We got into one hellacious argument. He finally explained that it would cause liver deterioration and prevent him from getting a transplant. He said he had a man upstairs that was dying from the very same procedure. He did agree to have the chest tube removed. With saline fluids, my husband came out of the coma within 3 hours.
I did get my consultation with the thoracic surgeon. He admitted that I had received good advice. The recovery period for the talc procedure was up to 15 days. The scaring within the chest cavity can be severe and prevent ANY future surgery, including transplant surgery. I did not find any information on the Internet that discussed the aftermath of the talc procedure.
All I can say is that you really need to understand exactly what the risks are. By all means, demand answers. The Director of Transplantation admitted that I saved my husband’s life by my outburst. The pulmonary doctors had all but given up on him. Had I not spoke up, he would have slipped away. I was fortunate that the Transplant Director accepted my challenge to make my husband better. He received a liver transplant on January 21st and continues in his recovery.
I hope this helps. Best of luck to you. You will be in my prayers.