View Full Version : problems breathing/lung issues after surgery

Curvy Corky
02-19-2006, 01:17 PM
Hey everyone. I'm a little concerned about something thats been happening to me the last few weeks. I had my anterior spinal fusion 1/4/06 which they had to collapse my lung during surgery to get to the spine for the fusion.

While in the hospital I had some problems with my lung after surgery and wasn't breathing well on my own. Wound up staying in the ICU for 7 days due to a lot of fluid on my lung. They had me do breathing treatments while there and sent me home with a device to do them at home too. Well I never have been able to make it to the point with this device that they wanted me to. Anyway....

The last few weeks when I take a deep breath I've noticed that I feel a very sharp pain in my chest on the side where they collapsed my lung. And it has been very hard for me to breath and I often have shortness of breath. Well today I was taking a pretty hot shower (very relaxing) and I've done this numerous times since surgery with no problems. Today I started not being able to breath while in the shower and started gasping for air, then started feeling dizzy and very faint, then with my eyes everything started turning white like I was about to faint. I called my husband to have him open the door to let some air in, but that didn't help. So he got me out of the shower and I could barely stand up on my own. This happened for about 5 minutes. He got me into bed laying down and eventually after a few minutes it passed. I'm doing better now but a little weak.

This really scared me, especially since they collapsed my lung during surgery and I'm wondering if there is now a problem with it? Has anyone else had this happen? If so any advice? I'm just concerned that my lung could be collapsing again, but not sure.

Thank you for any comments or advice!

02-19-2006, 02:24 PM
Shelly, it is always a possibility. I didn't have my lung collapsed because my surgery was posterior, but part of my lung collapsed anyways, filled up with fluid and I got pneumonia. I had the fluid drained and got antibiotics for the pneumonia, but my lung had a very hard time reexpanding, and didnt do so until one of my rods was removed because it was on a nerve.
When I knew something was wrong it was really hard for me to be up and active. I was constantly sleeping and short of breath when walking or going up stairs. It hurt to breathe and I would get dizzy/light headded. I ended up in the ER.
I hope you start feeling better soon.

02-19-2006, 02:36 PM
Hi Shelly...

I think it's important that you contact your surgeon or primary care physician to report the problem. It could be nothing, but I think it's always better to be safe than sorry.


02-19-2006, 05:53 PM
I am going to make a new post on a breathing issue I just had, maybe it'll help answer you're question? In meantime, have you talked to your surgeon about the problem?

02-19-2006, 06:38 PM
My lung wasn't collasped during surgery, but it was moved aside to access my thoracic area and due to it being moved around, I had fluid in my left lung and was in ICU for 4 days after my surgery because of low oxygen levels. I had the breathing treatments as well. A couple of times during my recovery at home within the first couple of weeks, I too felt weak and had difficulty breathing while taking a shower and had to have my husband help me out and lay me on the bed so that I could catch my breath. For me, it was nothing but overdoing it, but I would also recommend that you talk to your surgeon about it just to be sure as all of our experiences are different.