Dr doesn't want to do lung reduction surgery

I am at stage 4 copd and I keep getting cases of pneumonia and the infections are always in the same place: the lower lobe of my right lung. My left lung is never infected.

My fevers get dangerously high: the last one was 106.5F.

I would like the portion of my right lung that keeps getting infected removed surgically.

Why would the doctor object to lung reduction surgery? It seems to me the fevers are too high and extremely dangerous.

10 Replies

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  • Hi, I'm sorry to hear of your repeated bouts with pneumonia. Unfortunately, I can't offer you any advice about lung reduction surgeries. It's not my area of expertise ( as if I have any! ) :) Is this coming from your pulmonary doctor or someone who does surgeries? I hope someone who can help direct you will respond soon & you'll get some relief. I'll be praying for you, that God give you peace as you search for answers. Terri

  • Thanks for the reply. It is very concerning to me that these fevers and bouts of pneumonia hit me suddenly. The only "symptoms" I get before these incidents is (1) My heart rate starts increasing a few days or a week before sometimes getting as high as 110 bpm and (2) My Oxygen Saturation starts dropping by a percent or two. But otherwise I feel fine and even energetic the day before it hits me. 75% of the time I shake it off and don't get sick. I follow the doctor's orders religiously but I still get sick.

    In this last incident I was delirious and actually unable to move. The only reason I got treatment is that my wife just assumed I was sleeping late and happened to touch my forehead and saw that I was burning up and measured my temperature at 106.5. She tried to get me up to go to the hospital but I was unable to move. She gave me two tylenol that pulled my fever down to about 103 surprisingly fast.

    I've asked my pulmonologist about taking preventative antibiotics when my heart rate starts increasing and O2 drops but I then take the risk of becoming immune to the antibiotics if I take them too much. I suspect my heart rate is increasing because my body is compensating for reduced lung function.

    I am by myself on trips at times and I am concerned that one of these incidents will kill me or cause brain damage but I've no idea how to prevent the illnesses.

  • Lung Volume Reduction Surgery only benefits COPD folks whose disease is worse in the upper lobes and who are trapping more air there. Initially, they were performing this surgery on any COPD. Some people were helped while others were not and some even got worse. So now they only do the surgery on those they know will be helped significantly.

  • Hi cschene;

    I have to agree with you, as an adult your temps are way too high, I'm surprised you didn't start having seizures. When I'm coming down with a flare up I take Arthritis Strength Tylenol, to help with the fever,

    Don't know enough about lung reduction surgery but I do think you are on to something. I would be getting a second and third opinion on this one.

    As for taking an antibotic daily for flare ups I can speak to that, my doctor has me doing this from Nov. through April every year, those are my bad months. I take 250 mg of Zithromax every day, when i do get a flare up doctor increases it too 500mg for 14 days then I go back to 250mg. This is what they call the triple treatment for copd. Don't worry about about becoming immune, there are plenty of antibotic out there that are much stronger and can be used if needed. If pulmonary doctor doesn't want to do this I would find another pulmonary doctor who would give me the treatments I need to give me the best life I could have of whatever time I have left. .

    I do suggest that if that happens again, your wife call for an ambulance.

    Keeping you in prayer

  • I also looked into long reduction and another procedure where they put something on your lungs and it shrank some of the bad tissue. Best part was that it was noninvasive surgery . While I was a prime candidate for both one major problem have a bad heart. I was still willing to give it a go but the doctors weren't . Don't know what else to tell you except keep going forward never give up look at each day is a blessing . God bless

  • surgery is not always the answer and can some times do more damage than good. i have been very severe stage four since i was diagnosed. Four different pulmonary doctors have said there is nothing to be done. I am on all copd meds oxygen 24/7 and do pulmonary exercise. The best thing i got from one of them was to move to a lower elevation with clean air. I am now dropping sats out of the blue ever since my first exerbation late sept. very scary when you stop breathing. they all say to stay out of the hospital if at all possible. good luck

  • My father had lung reduction surgery 20 years ago. While he had some improvement it was only for a very short time and before long he was back on inhalers, predisone, oxygen, etc. I say this because while the Doctor approved of his lung surgery the cardiologist refused to perform angioplasty on his heart when he had a heart attack a year later. When we inquired, the cardiologist advised he would not perform the procedure on his heart as there were too many blockages. He blamed all of this on the lung reduction surgery and my father passed away as a result. Sometimes things are a blessing in disguise. I'm praying for you!

  • I agree with LORBIC. I was on preventative antibiotics (250 mg azithromycin) for four years prior to my lung transplant. I took it on M,W,F. My stats would do the same as yours prior to pneumonia - first heart rate would rise to 85+ a day or so and then O2 would drop to less than 92 (I was on O2 24/7 and normal O2 was 97 - 98). My pulmonologist required me to come to him (during office hours or go to the ER if not) when my temperature reached 100.4. They would start an IV antibiotic and my pneumonia usually only required a 3 - 5 day hospital stay. There are many antibiotics that can be given to chronically ill patients. Look for a new pulmonologist if he/she is unwilling to treat you. I have since had a double lung transplant, so I am on a new journey, but I now take azithromycin daily and Bactrim on MWF and Leviquin or Doxicyclone are added when needed for infections. May God bless you as you seek out appropriate treatment. Do not continue to allow yourself to have such high fevers!

  • Hi cschene... Oh my, that's an awfully high fever.. Please do not hesitate to contact professional help if any fever is over 101.9 in a grown adult.. That's so dangerous.. I'm so sorry for what you're going through... My prayers are with you and your family. Sarah USA

  • Thanks.

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