I am a 26 year old female in relatively good health and have never smoked. I have been prone to pneumonia and bronchitis through out my life. In March, I had a ct scan of my lungs which revealed emphysema in the bottom lobe of my right lung and a 3.5 cm mass in the upper/middle lobe of my right lung. I went to see a pulmonologist who requested lab work, a chest x-ray, and scheduled a bronchoscopy for the mass. The lab work results revealed that the emphysema was caused by having MZ phenotypes from AAT deficiency. Unfortunately, my mass is located between the blood vessels of my lung and the doctor was unable to get a biopsy of the mass. My pulmonologist referred me to an infections disease doctor to rule out aspergillus (aspergillosis), TB, etc and also performed more blood work and another CT scan. The blood work showed that I had abnormal alpha-fetoprotein levels but was negative for any infectious disease. The CT scan revealed the mass had not grown over a 3 month period. My pulmonologist stated that the mass could be scar tissue from pneumonia, some sort of infection that did not show up in blood work or some type of germ cell tumor. My pulmonologist gave me 2 suggestions. I could wait until August and then have more blood work and another CT scan to see if the mass had grown or I could meet with a cardiothoracic surgeon to possibly have a biopsy performed. I decided to meet with the surgeon to hear his thoughts. The surgeon told me that he would only be able to perform an open biopsy (thus going through my back and cutting out a rib) instead of a VATS biopsy due to the location of the mass. Also, he stated that he felt like the mass was not scar tissue because of its location and size. He also noted that if it was a tumor and it started growing that it could cut off my airway because the mass is wrapped around my airway. He stated that if I elected to have the surgery and it was a tumor then he would likely have the remove 60% of my right lung. After talking with my husband, we have scheduled the surgery for August 6. I have been feeling really tired lately and coughing more and am worried that it is because of the problems in my lung. I am also concerned about having the open lung biopsy. I would love to hear input on anyone’s thoughts and opinions.
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