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Pleural Effusion?



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Sleeved 2/15. Two weeks after my sleeve (surgery went fine) I developed on my left back that radiated around to the side. I thought I had strained a muscle because I'd spent 5 hours sitting on a bleacher for our State caucus. The pain steadily grew worse, but did not improve. I developed an occasional cough. I'd had a cold during my surgery and thought the cough was from allergies or maybe my cold finally trying to clear itself out.

The pain became so bad that I couldn't lie on my back. The cough grew worse. Finally, I phoned my surgeon's office and was told by one of the Physician's Assistants that it didn't sound like anything to worry about but to see my primary just in case I had an infection. That was before Spring break (middle of March). My kid was home from college. I decided to wait until she went back to school because I didn't think the symptoms meant anything.

Could not get in to see my doctor until this past Friday. By now the pain had spread up my back to just below my shoulder blade and around the front of my chest. My cough had gotten a lot more frequent, but I couldn't cough as deeply as I'd like because of the pain. I also couldn't breathe normally at all because (I thought) of the sore muscles. I'm prone to sinus infections and attributed the cough to that.

Well, my PCP (bless her) is the type who digs. She listened to my chest, gave a lesson to the nurse practitioner she's training about symptoms and said, "No, I can hear something not right. She's still within the window from her surgery. Let's do a chest X-ray." Imagine my surprise when she asked me to come see my x-ray. About 3/4 of my left lung was shaded white. Even as a lay person I knew that wasn't good. She said, "Off to the ER for you. It's probably liquid, but I can't tell from this." She called the specialists ahead of my arrival and I was seen right away (for the ER). I got a CT scan and was admitted late on a Friday evening to the hospital.

The lung doctor came and spoke to me Saturday morning. I have pleural effusion, probably a complication from my surgery. This is one of those times where my high threshhold of pain bit me in the butt. I wish I had had myself checked out a lot sooner. Monday I return to the hospital to have a needle jabbed into my lung so they can aspirate the Fluid and run tests to determine what's causing it. The surgeon is 99% sure it's a surgery complication, but can't rule other things out (including the Big C).

Other experiences with this very rare complication? I'm not sure what to expect.

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You'll feel like a new person after the thoracentesis. I don't have personal experience, but as a nursing student I did a rotation in the ER and witnessed this procedure.

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You'll feel like a new person after the thoracentesis. I don't have personal experience, but as a nursing student I did a rotation in the ER and witnessed this procedure.

That is good to hear. The doctor told me it should ease my breathing and the pain. Kind of kicking myself for not seeing someone about it earlier. The bariatric P.A. didn't seem to think it was a big deal, and I had convinced myself the symptoms were from different causes.

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I fell shortly after surgery nd bruised my ribs. I had a small pleural effusion from that. Small amounts of atelectasis and small pleural effusions are not uncommon after abdominal surgeries, that's why all the emphasis on incentive spirometry and getting you up and moving. A larger one definitely warrants the attention yours is getting. Feel better soon!

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yes, thoracenteces will make you feel better as well as antibiotics, I had major complications and the first time in the ER draining my lungs I felt nothing, but later in the hospital, it hurt, plus I had hospital acquired pneumonia so drains went in. Thank you for sharing your experience as it reminds us that we know our bodies better than anyone and we should speak up. I hope your recovery is uneventful!

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@@songsmith How are you feeling?

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Was sleeved in November. Pain in chest and back persisted to get worse. Went to my surgeons and he said I will be ok, my lung is probably trying to collapse and then he sent me off as if it were nothing. A few days later I go to the urgent care, they take an xray and my left lung was shaded white. They send me by Ambulance to the hospital. Long story short, I was in the hospital for 10 days. They said I had a Pleural Effusion. Drained my lung a few times and I went home the 10th day with Fluid still there. Its been a few weeks since I left the hospital and I still have pain. Not as much pain. Will it every go away? Seeing the Pulmonologist tomorrow.

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My stomach seems to be fine. My lung still hurts. I went to the Pulmonologist the other day and they said I still have Fluid there. When I take deep breaths or sneeze even yawn, it hurts. Its been 2 months post op and I wish it would just go away.

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