Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

Palliative Care

palliative-lungEarly Palliative care greatly improves survival for patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine (N Engl J Med 2010;363:733-42.) showed that early palliative care led to significant improvements in both quality of life and mood. As compared with patients receiving standard care, patients receiving early palliative care had less aggressive care at the end of life but longer survival.

Palliative care options may include:

Airway Stenting

Airway stenting (tracheal) - Airway stents, also known as tracheobronchial prostheses, are tube-shaped devices that are inserted into an airway. They can be used to treat a variety of large airway diseases. By widening a stenotic airway, airway stents decrease or eliminate the symptoms and signs of central airway obstruction (e.g., dyspnea, cough, and/or respiratory insufficiency), while improving lung function, exercise capacity, and quality of life.

PleurX Catheter

PleurX catheter (lung, breast cancer) - the PleurX drainage system includes a drainage catheter and active vacuum bottles that collect fluid. The drainage catheter is inserted, typically as a simple outpatient procedure, in your chest for pleural effusions or your abdomen for malignant ascites. When you need to drain fluid, you connect the end of the drainage catheter to the drainage line on the collection bottle. The insertion of the catheter can be performed on an outpatient basis.

Tracheal Squamous Cancer before stenting and after Lobectomy (2 lobes of lungs removed using VATS)