After open heart surgury

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After open heart surgury

Postby lisa ann » Wed Nov 01, 2006 4:32 pm

Here is my story. I had open heart surgery in 8/03. From there things went down hill. I got an infection, my whole chest area was open. Went to emergency rooms, doctors all turned me away till 1/04. I finally got someone to listen to me. But, a little to late as far as my health issues for the rest of my life. I had to have total reconstruction of the chest area. Now I have swelling from my abdomen area the whole way up to the top of my head. And when I walk a block and half my legs too. I can hardly stand the pain especially when it get into my neck and gives me a severe headache. My stomach area when it swells I get to the point of throwing up. I am so depressed I know there are people worse then me out there but can anyone direct me to some help. Right now I go to Lymph therapy once week it use to be twice but insurance says no.


Thanks I wish everone the best
lisa ann
 
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Location: pennsylvania

Postby patoco » Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:21 am

Hi Lisa :)

Wanted to welcome you to our family here and to apologize that I have taken so long to reply to you. I was out of town last week and am still way way behind in everything.

With the open heart surgery and the chest reconstruction, I am quite honestly, not surprised at the problems you are now having. The chest area is a major center for lymph transport.

Here are the areas involved in your situation and a description of their function:

Subclavian Vein (Right)

The subclavian vein is a continuation of the axillary vein (vein of the armpit) from the upper arm. A branch of the subclavian vein (right and left) extends from each arm. The vein then converges and extends from the first rib to the clavicle (collar bone), where it merges with the internal jugular vein to form the innominate. The subclavian veins are also important to the lymphatic system as a means of introcucing lymph back into the blood. The thoracic duct, which carries lymph, joins the left subclavian near the junction with the internal jugular vein. The lymphatic duct carries lymph to the right subclavian vein and also joins it near the junction with the internal jugular vein.

Subclavian Vein (Left)

The subclavian vein is a continuation of the axillary vein (vein of the armpit) from the upper arm. A branch of the subclavian vein (right and left) extends from each arm. The vein then converges and extends from the first rib to the clavicle (collar bone), where it merges with the internal jugular vein to form the innominate. The subclavian veins are also important to the lymphatic system as a means of introcucing lymph back into the blood. The thoracic duct, which carries lymph, joins the left subclavian near the junction with the internal jugular vein. The lymphatic duct carries lymph to the right subclavian vein and also joins it near the junction with the internal jugular vein.

Thoracic duct

The thoracic duct is the channel for the collection of lymph from the portion of the body below the diaphragm and from the left side of the body above the diaphragm. It is a long duct, approximately 16 inches (40 centimeters) in the average adult. It extends from the lower spine (2nd lumbar vertebrae) to the left subclavian vein where it drains. The thoracic duct and the lymphatic duct, together, empty between 4 to 10 milliliters of lymph into the blood every minute.
I would suspect all of these have been seriusly compromised and thus your body's ability to move and remove lymph fluid has been dramatically impaired.

While there are things you can do that can help some, this is not a situation where you are going to be able to either maintain or resolve the swelling on your own.

Professional intervention by a doctor well trained in lymphedema is going to be imperative and I disagree with your therapists perspective that it is a hopeless situation.

It may be necessary for you to be admitted as an inpatient at a lymphedema treatment center. There you would undergo an emergency intervention to remove the fluid.

Afterwards, you would be shown ways to help keep the fluid out or at a minimal. There are also compression garments available for the chest and abdomen.

Steps you can do yourself would be self massage, deep (diaphragm) breathing, exercises and the like.

Another thing that needs to be done is to determine if this is causing lymph fluid buildup in the pleural cavity. This would cause serious breathing problems. If there is a significant pleural effusion, it may be necessary to have that area drained.

This situation is complex and for your safety and well being it has got to be done under the supervision of a physician.

Let me know where you are and let's see if we can get you to one of these doctors.

Lisa, I soooo totally understand what you are going through. This past year I have experienced horrible fluid build up in the chest and abdomen as a result of a completely failing lymphatic system. It is truely one of (if not) the most miserable experience physically I have ever had.

The pain, frustration and incapacitation it cause is devestating, to put it very mildly.

Please, write back and let's see what we can do.

Very best to you!

Pat O
patoco
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Postby lisa ann » Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:26 am

Hi Pat 0

Thanks for your reply. Next week on 11/15 is my last day for lymph therapy :oops: My insurance will not allow any more. My therepist tried to fight it but couldn't. Do you have any ideas? Heck, I been lost my job, I get to sick to much to hold a job out of the house I tried. I have been looking for work from the home but nothing yet. I am ready to lose everything. I am so glad you contacted me, it is hard to find someone who actually knows what is going on with me. Some people just look at me and I know they are thinking oh just get over it Lisa. :?

Lisa Ann
lisa ann
 
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Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 4:06 pm
Location: pennsylvania


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