British Lung Foundation
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Is there a connection between sudden, intense pain and an equally sudden reduction in breathing capacity? I have bronchiestasis/IPF and was having a good year, ie not much change in my condition. Then I had an operation, under local anaesthetic, for nasal polyps. After 50minutes in theatre, much of the time in intense pain, I returned home and found, in the next few days, my breathing capacity was drastically reduced. I could no longer walk upstairs without getting out of breath!

My GP found no trace of infection, put me on a short course of steroids and said he did not know whether the op could cause this exacerbation. The ENT consultant, when I saw him later, said the op should not have caused a problem but had they used general anaesthetic, that might have affected my lungs. My lung consultant said an infection might have caused it - but, of course, this had already been ruled out by my GP.

I am 78, male, and otherwise (!!) in good physical condition. This is not a whinge, as I realise that I am, in many (most) respects, a very lucky person having great support at home and still able, with breathing breaks, to go for walks, do my exercises and manage "my bit" of our large garden. But something went wrong here and I just wandered if anyone out there can shed any light on the matter.


7 Replies

Welcome back to the forum, Jakk, I personally cannot help you, but I am sure that someone will come forward with their thoughts. It would be an idea to ring the \BLF nurse in the morning for her

advice. Possibly you might consider seeing your GP. All the best - Annie80x


Hi Jakk, I'm with Annie on this - call the BLF nurse. They'll be able to guide you. Take care.


Because your operation was for nasal polyps I would imagine that they would do a 'rinse' every now and then during the procedure, can you recall if that was the case? I am thinking that you may have inadvertently breathed rather than swallowed something going down the back of your throat and that it may have entered your lungs.

Sorry, just an educated guess.

Hope you soon feel better.




Good guess. Yes, there were rinses, and I expect I swallowed some, or even breathed some, but surely this would not be unusual in this procedure. Thanks, Jakk.


As an educated guess suction was available during surgery preventing ingress of rinse solution into the airways (Pulmonary aspiration) which would also have produced a reflex cough .I have no answer but consider annie80 gave good advice with a call to a specialist nurse on the helpline.


Sounds like the docs are scratching their heads - so we've no chance. Is your breating ok now Jakk? Maybe BLF can throw some light on this as Annie suggested.

Good luck



Probably not much help but I have chronic back pain from time to time. I had a hospital appointment with a nurse re COPD when I was in a lot of pain and was told there was a connection with the pain and and poor breathing but I cant remember the explanation ke gave me.


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