Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Paralyzed Diaphram
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Paralyzed Diaphram

I would like to know if anyone has had a Radical Prostectomy Surgery for Prostate Cancer, and afterwards found out that they have a paralyzed diaphram on the left side that was okay prior to the surgery? Was is determined that the paralyzed diaphram was caused by the surgery and what type of treatment is given for the paralyzed diaphram?
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Paralysis of the diaphragm is common following intrathoracic surgery.  However I know of no reports to suggest that this problem could be related to prostate surgery, general anesthesia, spinal anesthesia or endotracheal intubation.  So there is no obvious cause and effect relationship.  Still it is hard to ignore the fact that this problem was not present prior to surgery.  Then it developed right after the surgery.

But did it?  I wonder if this might have been an existent condition.  Possibly it occurred silently prior to the surgery.  Anyone having radical prostate surgery would have had a chest x-ray done before surgery.  This problem would have been revealed by a chest x-ray.

The phrenic nerve makes the diaphragm move so that the lungs can fill with air and empty.  Diaphragmatic paralysis is a condition where this nerve is not working properly.  In many instances the cause is never found.  It can occur on its own.  It can follow surgery, like you had to treat your cancer.  During the surgery the nerve may have been irritated or cut or damaged.  If the nerve was just irritated by the surgery, over time your diaphragm may get better.  Whatever the cause, this type of paralysis often spontaneously reverses.  At this time nothing should be done.
10 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your response. I did have pre-op chest x-ray 5-10 days before the surgery. Diaphram and lungs were found to be normal. I had shortness of breath the day after the surgery and their was another Chest x-ray done that showed the lungs clear however the diaphram was elevated. After continued shortness of breath and a visit to a pulomonologist, Tests a year later have confirmed a paralyzed diaphram exists. It doesn't appear that the condition will improve per the pulomonologist. I have heard that there is a microsurgery technique that could restore the phrenic nerve or some type of pacemaker device may be installed. Is it worth the risk of another surgery?
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Avatar_n_tn
I was wondering what kind of anesthetic was used during the surgery. I was put on ativan because of stomach problems and have had breathing difficulties and a constricted diaphragm ever since. Benzodiazepines are often used for surgery as well and in some individuals, they can cause breathing and muscular constriction. They are muscle relaxants and conversely, muscles can tighten and constrict. The brain can take a very long time in reversing this paradoxical effect. Hope you find some answers soon.
Marie
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Avatar_n_tn
Marie, thank you for your input. I will look into type of anesthic used and see if it could have an effect. After several test it is confirmed the diaphagmatic paralysis on the left side. No one has ever heard of this as a result of a Radical Prostate surgery, however my pre-op x-rays clearly shows I had no problems. I would like to find a way to improve my situation as it is an issue walking up stairs or up any grade at all.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been diagnosed as having a paralyzed diaphram a number of years ago. Now that I am 78 years old I find I am having more severe problems because of it. As I fall to sleep I have a terrible spasm in my chest, sometimes it radiates from my midrift to the top of my head. I actually go blind for a moment, have to catch my breath. It's like an explosion in my chest. This happens every time I fall to sleep, not once, but every time.After having about ten episodes I just have to get up. I cannot sit down in the afternoon or early evening as I fall to sleep immedially and the episodes start. I have never heard of anyone having this problem. Am I the only person in the world that has this? My doctor(a neurologist) put me on klonopin 1 mg to be taken at night. I have been doing this for at least 6 years. Wondering if it is long acting in the body and that could be the reason I fall asleep anytime that I sit down. I do wonder about going blind with these episodes. Other than this problem I am in good health, but this has taken a toll on my health. I am very fatigued. Try to take one day at a time and handle it the best way I can, but it does get you down. I would appreciate any help you could give me. Thanks very much.
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Avatar_f_tn
wondering how long it takes to get a response to questions?
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Avatar_n_tn
I am still very new to having this problem, I only have an issue if I walk up stairs or carry or lift heavy objects. I am not sure what if any treatment is applicable at this time.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,my mother has been in the hospital since 11-4-05. She went in for repairing of three aneurysms of the aorta. She also  had two angiograms and a by pass. We were just told she has a paralyzed diaphram. One of the doctors mentioned a pacemaker for the diaphram. Please if anyone knows about this or if its been done before please let me hear from you. Thank You .
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Avatar_f_tn
cvcbella. read you comments about your Mother. What symptons does she have? Also is this where you post questions to the doctors? I have never had a reply. Do hope your Mother gets some help.
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Jean Lizzy, Hi my mom had no symptoms . That is for the aneurysms. For the diaphram shes just very short of breath. I dont know if this is where you post questions for the doctors. Thank you I have hope that there is something for my mom. I hear that it takes long. I dont care how long just so she gets better. 4/28/06
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A related discussion, Diaprham function was started.
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A related discussion, Diaphram was started.
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A related discussion, frozen or paralized diaphram was started.
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