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Congestive Heart Failure?
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Congestive Heart Failure?

My husband, who is only 26 years old, has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure about 2 years ago.  At the age of 24, he had cancer that was located in and around his chest.  After 3 months of chemo and radiation, he had surgery to remove the rest of his cancer.  The doctors had removed his cancer, his left lung (it had collapsed because the tumor was sitting on top for so long), and the sac lining around his heart.  He has been cancer free since his surgery and had been doing fine.  Then about 6 months later he suddenly developed a large amount of fluid accumulation only in the abdomen area.  The doctors thought it might have to do with the liver so they performed a liver biopsy.  

During the biopsy, he had a cardiac arrest and was in the ICU for about a week.  The results for the biopsy showed that it was enlarge probably due to the fluid.  The cardiologist told us that he had congestive heart failure due to his cardiac arrest and that is the reason for the accumulation of fluid.  They have prescribed him heart medications and diuretics but the diuretic doesn’t seem to help.  He’s been having a paracentesis done about once a month to relieve the pressure and the usually take about 3 to 4 liters each time.  He is on a strict sodium diet with only 2,000 mg a day.  He had a recent Ekg done and the doctor said that he has a strong heart.

Also before all of this had happened, he was the picture of good health.  He was an upcoming professional boxer and exercised religiously.  He doesn’t smoke or drink.  Then all of a sudden he’s been having one problem after another.  I’m just hoping to maybe get some kind of answer or maybe someone is or has experienced the same thing.

My questions are:

1. Could he have been misdiagnosed with congestive heart failure?  Cardiologist said his CHF was due to the cardiac arrest, but that doesn’t explain the fluid accumulation before hand.

2. Would the removal of the sac lining around the heart have caused the CHF?

3. Is it normal to have this much fluid accumulation within a short period of time?  Many CHF patients I know don’t have nearly that amount of fluid especially in the abdomen.  

4. Does this sound like it could be another underlying cause rather than the CHF?

Thank you in advance for your help!
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3 Comments Post a Comment
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Very sorry to hear that all, you right he is very young for all that. All I can say please try keep even lower sodium diet. Defiantly under 1600 mg ,but if it is possible even lower ,he should ask his  doctor about it if he should take more diuretic or maybe a different one? Good luck!
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edit : definitely
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Avatar_n_tn
hey hon, sorry to hear about your husband. He is young to have this disease, as am I. I'm 19 and developed it due to fluid retention in my pregnancy, I developed Preeclampsia (aka toxemia). It is devastating to find out you have CHF.. Especially when you are young, healthy, and under 30! I was thinking the same thing, if he was already retaining water, why would the CHF be due to his cardiac arrest.. Doesn't sound right. I would def. get a 2nd opinion, it never hurts. Try to look for a cardiologist who specializes in CHF if possible. Also, they drained 6 liters of water off of me in one night. But mine had been building up for a few months & the hospital kept giving me tests & sending me home, saying i was not pre-eclampsic, so it had quite some time to build up to what it did. But I have been reading up on my condition a lot & many pple have said that they had even more water taken off of them when taking lasix. I agree with vienna, try to cut his salt-intake as low as possible.. I know its hard b/c i often find myself walking around fatigued and hungry b/c I dont know what to eat or what is safe. I'm afraid to take in much at all! but just try to keep his salt as low as possible. And pray to GOD, as I will keep your husband in my prayers also. I truly wish you guys the best, b/c I know first hand what the two of you are going through. I just had a new born baby and it's a very devastating thing to go through. best of luck
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