Hello all, I've not been on the forum long but you all seem such a knowledgeable and friendly bunch thought I'd tell you a bit about my lung problem history. At the turn of the century in 2000 I and my family were hit with a horrendous flu bug (We called it the millenium bug!). I developed a really bad cough, could not lie down at night for days. I had a course of ABs and felt better after about a fortnight but the cough remained. All my doc suggested was to stand in the shower(!) and he gave me a Ventolin inhaler. I carried on coughing, exrays showed nothing untoward. I gave up smoking in 2001 and haven't smoked since.
In 2006 (at the age of 53) I got pneumonia - came out of the blue, woke up one morning and could hardly breathe. Chest x-ray showed my left lung was 3/4 full of fluid. They drained some off with a long needle (eww!) and I was admitted, had intravenous ABs and a chest drain. Consultant said scan showed 'pockets of old fluid/pus' on my left lung and suggested it was to do with having chest infections when I was younger, I had whooping cough when I was 10. Smoking, of course, did not help matters. He said they could do an op (think it's called a mini thoracotomy?) which would zap off this 'pus' from my lung and help prevent recurrences of pneumonia in the future. So I was admitted to Harefiield Hospital and had the op - Aug 2006. They made an incision in my ribcage at the back. Recovery was slow and my breathing was definitely impaired after the op. Ever since then I've had what I can only describe as a feeling that a rope is tied round my ribs on the left side - I'm not sure whether this discomfort is due to the pneumonia or the op itself, or both! Docs couldn't explain it and I know of no-one else who's had anything similar. I was ok breathing until 2010 when I started to become breathless, walking upstairs, etc. Frankly I was a bit miffed since I had given up smoking in 2001 and after the op my cough improved greatly. Anyway, my breathing has steadily got worse and I've been told I have COPD due to 'scar tissue' - my lung function is not good, my last FEV1 was 45% and I use Seretide 250 plus Ventolin as and when. The one thing I'm thankful for is having given up smoking - I have a minor cough now with some phlegm now and again but coughing is not a problem now. And I haven't had pneumonia or indeed any chest infection since the op.
Sorry, bit of a long story! I was wondering if anyone else here has had an op like this. If so what are/were your experiences? I've searched the net for any info on this operation, particularly comments from other people who have had this done, and can find very little. Surely I'm not the only person in the country to have had this op! (I know I'm special, but not that special! - joke!). What do you people think?