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Paralyzed diaphragm - anyone?


MarGre

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I saw a pulmonologist today and discovered the cause of my mystery problem. I'd been having problems w/breathing out and what I call "involuntary exhalation". The doc said my right diaphragm is paralyzed - could be from the cancer or damage to the phrenic nerve from pleurodesis etc. He is going to do testing to confirm and also check how much oxygen I'm actually getting. Has anyone ever had a paralyzed diaphragm? If so did it get better?

Have to say in a way it was a relief because I don't like the unknown - now I know what the problem is and it's not in my head.

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I havent had the experience of a paralyzed diaphram, but I did get a paralyzed vocal cord during the lung surgery I had.

I think there was something I heard during my respritory rehab that they can give you a device to stregthen the diagphram but I can't recall if it was do anything for paralysis or not.

I am sure there will be a few members here that can answer your questions.

Take care,

Wendy

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Hi MarGre, Yes my right diaphragm is permanently elevated after surgery which most likely was caused by doc nicking my phrenic nerve. That was 8 years ago.

Unfortunately, I've tried all sorts of breathing exercises and it has not gotten better.

My family doc says it will never get better, but I figure that's not a reason to give up. These guys don't know everything. :)

Interesting, because I have the involuntary breathing too. I noticed it in the hospital after surgery. But mine seems to be more on the inhale than exhale.

They could also do a "sniff" test, but elevated diaphragm is good indication it is paralyzed.

There are a few others here with elevated diaphragms too. Hope this helps to know you are not alone.

Barb

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  • 3 years later...

I was told that following bypass heart surgery that I have a paralyzed left diaphragm. My surgery was in January, 2011. This was discovered 2 weeks after the surgery when I returned to the doctor. It is hard to find good information regarding this condition. I have not been able to talk to anyone that has it to find out if they recovered, how long it takes to get better, or if it is going to get better. I am not incapacitated by this, but it has caused some restrictions on what I do. I live in Arkansas and the heat and humidity is very hard to endure now. My surgeon continues to tell me that he thinks it will get better and that he is sure that he did not damage the nerve that controls the diaphragm. There is a surgical procedure but I am not ready to go under the knife again after such a invasive surgery as the bypass was. I wish you well and hopefully we can get better informed through the web.

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Hi Kah123, I have lived almost 11 years with this now. I get very short of breath just going up a flight of stairs. Heat, humidity or smoke definitely does not help. I also have trouble walking against a strong wind...it just sucks the breath out of me.

I've tried lots of things including years of yoga breathing exercises....my right diaphragm has not dropped a bit... so it seems permanent.

I think the docs do not like to talk about it. Is your chest numb anywhere? Barb

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