After three cancellations, the Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (valves) finally happened on Friday

After three cancellations, the Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (valves) finally happened on Friday

Hi y'all. Well, I'm safely back home, necking biotics and prednisolone after Friday's little op. I assume you can click on my username to see the history but it's been a black January, one op after another cancelled at the last moment because of bed shortages. Got a hospital call last Tuesday, asking if I was up for Friday. Is the pope religiously inclined? Do bears use woods for...? So, the usual up at 6am, naughty expresso for the steroids (taste bitter and I need a kick at that time of the morning). Totally forgot to tell the anaesthetist about it later, damn. taxi arrived early and I'm in the Bristol royal Infirmary at 7, hot to trot but no one around. Anyway, cut a long story short, it all went amazingly to plan. I knew everyone by now, they all knew me, papers had all been signed the last time and I walk in to the theatre about 12.30, very breezy (what can go wrong ? :) ). Bunch of people down from London to observe who I casually greet. I'm normally quite shy and retiring but in potentially stressful situations I go into 'actor on stage' mode. And everything goes really, really well for once. Remember glancing left at the monitor a couple of times and seeing the inside of my lungs from the probe camera. Three valves successfully implanted. Half hour tops. Into post op, throat spray anaesthetic wears off and my throat feels like the worst throat infection ever, my mouth is as dry as a camel's whatsit and I'm not allowed to drink.Demand and get ibuprofen. Find op mouth guard and tube wedged in my underpants (?). Spend 5 hours on a trolley in a post op ward next to Ray, Alpha COPD, who was in before me for the same. Proper Bristolian and we get on fine through having been through the same, although they had to put him right out, also he's a Liverpool supporter. Finally at 8pm, they find us beds on a ward and I'm on FB, chatting to my kids on the phone, posting pics of me post op. I know a few of you are on that FB group so apologies if you've seen all this before. Poor guy opposite me has 'difficulties' and has a conversation with himself all night long, doesn't stop. Ray, who is no stranger to this hospital, has a little pharmacy in his washbag and slips me a sleeping pill which keeps me asleep til 3.30 am when Colin's conversation wakes me and that's it for any more sleep. Really, really want to get out then but have to wait until early afternoon until I can finally leg it home in time to watch Chelsea win 3 - 0 and go top of the league (I'm a blue).

No results as yet. The valves normally take a few days to collapse the targetted lung areas, so will be an interesting week. Was quite sob last night but lungs don't feel so tight. These low pressure areas caused by all the storms aren't helping either, I'm sure. Big up to all the staff at the BRI, my consultant Nabil Jarrad and surgeon Mr Batchelor. It's not their fault there's a shortage of beds (blame the government and norovirus, or norogovernment for short). Keep you posted and wishing you all ease of breath this Sunday morning....

40 Replies

  • So happy for you xx

  • Fair play, sounds like a breeze. hope the valves do the job as these could help a lot of people and the op is no where near as invasive as opening up the ribs to get at the lungs.

  • Good news. Hope things ffurther improve soon. M x

  • Congratulations!

    I've followed your story so am very pleased that it's happened for you at last.

    You made it lighthearted and funny - will you copy and save your post so that in the future you can use it to help folks scared and worried about the procedure?

    Because I'm having I lie in after a late night I couldn't help clicking on one of the tags beneath your post, UNDERPANTS! That was enlightening too ;)

  • So pleased for you. I wish you a quick recovery.

  • That's great news, Hope it was not to distressful and you make a quick and full recovery.


  • So pleased for you, do keep us posted how you are doing.

    Wishing you a good recovery and much improved breathing in the future.

    Best wishes BC

  • Hi so glad everything went well for you, your sense of humour makes light of what you have had done but I am sure it was not that easy, you are very brave.

    Hope you continue to improve.

    polly xx

  • Hi, anything that may improve the COPD makes me very brave immediately!

  • Good morning Notlocal great news. Here's to a smooth and quick recovery. I'll keep watching for your posts to keep up. X

  • At last! It must have come as a relief to finally make it all the way to the operating room. I'm pleased for you and hope the recovery is swift and pain free. Please do keep us updated, as and when you can. Lots of luck.

  • Hehe...Was thinking as they put the drip in "Now's the time to tell me that it's all off again"!

  • I don't think they would have dared!

  • Yes really pleased for you, special thoughts for a speedy recovery, Take care, Heather

  • well done notlocal glad every thing went well and it carries on, all the best now and the future

  • It varies apparently from case to case. In mine, nothing so far...Have a follow - up with tests on March 5. It takes 4/5 days for the valved parts to collapse so it's a bit early..

  • Congrats! I have been following your journey with interest,& so happy you finally made it.Lovely pic to,you look very happy in it!

    Do keep in touch,& let us know how you go,fingers crossed,for a great outcome, xxx

  • Good to hear. I will be waiting for the updates. :)

  • Good news for you.

    Glad it went so well. Looking forward to reading updates you send us.


  • Hello, so pleased that your moment of limelight wasn't overshadowed by those pesky visitors from London !

    Its great that you got home in time to see Chelsea win too - must have been the icing on the cake for you !

    I think your approach and attitude are admirable especially given the stressful circumstances.

    I can relate to the guy with the pharmacy in his washbag - at least he was willing to part with one of his sleeping tablets !

    Did you engage in Colin's conversation or just leave him to it ?

    I had a very similar experience in my local hospital recently - people say "don't yiu get bored in hospital ?"

    I always say it depends which hospital you go to, who the other inmates are and "in house entertainment" can be both amusing and irritating but it all adds to the overall journey.

    Take care and I will keep my fingers crossed that the valves start working ASAP and that you can soon notice some benefit. Rosie x

  • Hey Rosie! yeah, the guy with the portable pharmacy was well stocked. Reckon he had enough to knock out the entire ward! The 'pesky visitors' just faded as the drip went in (also you're on your back looking up and spectators just don't figure somehow). I left Colin to's just a feeling you get that there's no way in and if there was, you didn't want to be there anyway. I'm quite new to hospitals - my first overnight stay since I was 4, had my appendix out and received very painful injection in my a** just as I was on the way out with my parents! The trauma lives on...Happy to keep hospital time to a minimum fttb. stay cool, Bob

  • Great news not local - really pleased for you.

    love cx

  • Thanks to all the responders today as it hails and blows outside down in the West Country. My username's notlocal because I'm 'not from round 'ere' but my real name's Bob btw...

  • So pleased to get the news that your Op went o.k at last , will be interested to hear about follow up and how much difference it has made to your breathing, did you use oxygen and what stage do you have to be at to get the chance of having Op, I am in West Country, about 13 miles from Bristol, but come under Southmead Health Authority, have not seen a consultant for quite a few years, Community Matron visits and is very good, I am on Ambulatory Oxygen 2 L have had COPD for 15 years.

    Do hope your recovery goes well and that your breathing will be much easier, will look forward to your posts, the weather is shocking down here in the West Country isn't it.

    Take care and keep smiling. Gillian.

  • Hi Gillian. I originally made the appt. to see the consultant when I was living in Batheaston (I'm now in Easton, Bristol), thinking that oxygen was next on the list. He said no, there is this new procedure, and here I am. Maybe it's time to see a consultant again? If you want the name of mine, just contact me here. I'm not sure if you have the BRI/Southmead choice. No real improvement as yet, wait and see what the week brings.

    Avoiding going out in this weather, but low barometric pressure from these weather systems doesn't stop at the door so there's no escape really! i'll be posting any improvement (hopefully).

  • What a great, cheerful account of your procedure notlocal. My fingers are crossed these make the same difference to you as other's I've seen on the net. It gives people such hope for the future. Well done !!!

  • Wishing you well breathing Buddy and hope all continues to go well for you. Thank you for posting about your adventure in the BRI ( somewhere my son knows well) and keep posting to let us know how things go for you. Wishing you a great day :-)

  • brave you ! hope you feel better and better :)

  • Thanks julie, hope you good up there in wales - and on high ground...

  • Hi Notlocal hope your well this morning another day on to recovery for you. I've just had another look at your phot and I must say you could of made an effort and had a shave. He! He! Take care. Steph. X

  • You sure know how to make me feel good looking :) Had a short beard for a year or two now..

  • arse out gowns ...... my biggest fear of hospitals.

    Glad it went OK & wishing you a speedy recovery.

    The fun bit starts now ....... anyone looking at x-rays will ask when did you have the stents fitted .... they apparently look the same as heart stents.

  • Ain't it the truth! Had the nurse have a good check behind beforehand ;-) Think I am BEGINNING to feel the benefits today after a sob weekend. Heartening.

  • Hi Notlocal, I have been keeping am eye on you progress and really pleased it has eventually happened. I am really interested in your progress as I have a giant bullae in right lung and Emphasema in left . I am waiting to here from Leeds hospital to see if they are prepared to carry out the same procedure on myself. I wish you a good recovery and feel the benefits very soon. Keep us all posted.

  • Good luck Lavinia and I hope things go well with you and the outcome is positive from the hospital. I'll be posting here about my progress...

  • Hehe, no! Being a bit naughty with some vodka which is naughty as I'm on the last day of post op biotics/prednisolone. I teach English to foreigners (adults), but am on JSA as I've just been concentrating on the upcoming op...

  • It's a piece of piss Stitch, you feel nothing and you're in a pleasant daze. I had a sore throat from the probe when the anaesth wore off but the other guy didn't. Home the next day.and it's totally reversible if it doesn't work.

  • "Meds" kicking in, time to sleep :) Breathe easy

  • 5 mos have passed and I'm wondering how you are doing. I've been waiting almost two years to get this done.

  • Hi. Yes, it's been a long time. With it not working for me, I feel a bit negative about posting, don't want to put people off. After nothing happened, I got into exercise and the treadmill but then got hit by a major infection over two months ago which unfortunately is still lurking around and i'm struggling a bit at the moment. bob's sob's a sob! i don't see my consultant until September, but don't have a good feeling about what he can do next for me :( . Wish my news was better..

You may also like...