This procedure is often used with cancer patients, when fluid has built-up in the membranes around the lung. This build-up of fluid is called pleural effusion. It prevents the lungs from fully expanding within the chest.
Pleurodesis is also used with patients whose lung has collapsed due to a hole in the lung. It allows surgeons to repair the lung thorascopically by stapling the hole.
Treatment typically involves placing a tube (thorascope) in the chest, then inserting a special powder that attaches to the tissues lining the lungs. The powder causes the tissues to stick together so there is no space for fluid to accumulate, allowing the lungs to move and expand again.