Our is an outpatient clinic developed to help individuals with either a pleural effusion or ascites live with these symptoms. Our focus is on relieving the symptoms develop due to the build up of fluid by inserting a catheter to allow drainage of the fluid in the home setting. Services are provided across the entire Champlain LHIN but clinic is run at the General Campus of the Ottawa Hospital in the Cancer Assessment Clinic.
What is a Pleural Effusion?
A pleural effusion is a build-up of fluid around a lung. It can affect either lung (right or left) or both at the same time. The fluid occupies space that the lung normally uses, making it more difficult for the lung to expand and hold air. This often causes dyspnea or shortness of breath. Many people with cancer develop pleural effusions.
What is Malignant Ascites?
Malignant ascites is the accumulation of a large amount of fluid in the abdomen. This is usually due a cancer. Depending on the amount of fluid present it may cause patients to fell to feel full and sometimes nauseated. It can also cause shortness of breath because the fluid pushes up on the diaphragm limiting the amount the lungs can expand when taking a breath.
Patients are referred to the Malignant Effusion Program by their oncologists, family physicians or other care providers. Every patient coming to the Malignant Effusion Clinic will be assessed by a team of health-care providers including a physician and a nurse… The team will assess the patient to determine if the insertion of a catheter will help to manage the patient’s symptoms. The patient will be sent for a chest x ray and breathing tests prior to coming to the clinic. The physician will insert the catheter in the clinic and the nurse will drain the fluid off and monitor the patient. The patient will be referred to home care (CCAC) and the home care nurse will come into the patient’s home three times a week to drain the fluid until the tube is able to be removed. The patient will be seen in follow up at the Malignant Effusion Clinic in two weeks, in six weeks and as required.
The team will also refer patients on to other supportive programs as required, including the Dyspnea Management Clinic, the Palliative Rehabilitation Program, Supportive and Palliative Care Outpatient Clinics, and the Psychosocial Oncology Program.
We are an inter-professional group who will help patients understand and manage the fluid that has accumulated around their lung(s) or in their abdomen.
- Medical Lead: Dr. Kayvan Amjadi
- Administrative Lead: Lynn Kachuik, RN Advanced Practice Nurse Palliative Care
- Malignant Effusion Clinic Nurse: Lorraine Cake RN
Making an Appointment:
Any cancer patient who is experiencing symptoms related to fluid build around their lungs or in their abdomen can be referred to the Malignant Effusion Program. Patients can request referrals to this service. All referrals must be signed by a physician.
Fax a general referral form to the CAC at (613) 737-8643
- Please indicate any recent tests that the patient has had (chest x-ray, CT chest etc.) to avoid duplication
Call the Malignant Effusion Program clerk at (613) 737-8899 ext. 79679
The Malignant Effusion Clinic nurse is Lorraine Cake. She can be reached by calling: (613) 737-8899 ext. 79987 or via pager at (613) 759-9654