Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Elevated left hemidiaphragm
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Elevated left hemidiaphragm

After chest cat scans, x-rays, and a sniff test, the thoracic surgeon has diagnosed me with persistent chronic elevation of the left hemidiaphragm.  She is suggesting non-invasive surgery to repair the diaphragm.  I am an active 72 year old woman and experienced shortness of breath while skiing in high elevation and swimming in a lake in NJ.  I want to continue to ski in the West and continue my active lifestyle.

The Dr. does not promise that it will improve my shortness of breath but did say that in time the diaphragm may push up into the lung.

Does anyone have any input?  I want to make an educated decision as to whether I should have this non-invasive surgery done.  Has anyone had this repair done?  What was your recovery time and the results?
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I assume that the surgery being considered is plication of the diaphragm.  The surgery cannot be done non-invasively.  However it can be done relatively non-invasively by video assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS).  Significant morbidity can be avoided by performing the surgery in this way.  Improving your shortness of breath cannot be guaranteed, but there is a good chance of it.

Most importantly, the surgeon who does the surgery should be experienced in both VATS and plication of the diaphragm.  Before agreeing to surgery it would be important to work with your doctor to be sure there aren
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I was admitted to surgery for diaphragmatic plication in April, 2006. The standard (highly invasive) procedure was used. Thorascopic surgery was available and would have been less invasive. However, my surgeon explained that the thorascopic procedure would not produce the same results. A trade off was required between risk, discomfort, recovery time and (on the other hand) the expected long range outcome.

The indicated procedure (if any) for a given individual depends on a range of factors. Consultation with your pulmonary specialist and your surgeon is essential for a final judgement as to what is best for you. My comments to dsgksg on September 22 may be of interest. I thought you might like to hear from someone who (at age 64) has, "been there, done that".


  

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