I am a 45 year old male and enjoy outdoor activities such as SCUBA diving and backpacking. I have never smoked. I have recently been diagnosed with an elevated left hemidiaphragm without acute pulmonary process. A CT scan was performed with and without 80cc of Ultravist contrast. This found the lungs to be clear without acute infiltrates, no pulmonary nodules, no pleural effusion or pleural thickening. The elevation of the hemidiaphragm is found to be fairly prominent. There is no hilar mass. A second independent review of the CT results found PA and lateral views of the chest demonstrate an elevated left hemidiaphragm, dilated bowel loops are seen under the left diaphragm, lungs are free of infiltrates. The pulmonary vasculature is unremarkable and no pneumothorax is present. A fluoroscopic evaluation, or “sniff test” revealed there was no diaphragmatic paralysis or focal defect in the diaphragm. Lung volume tests indicate 60% of expected capacity based on age, weight, height, and gender. There is no history of a stabbing or gunshot wound, heart surgery, or any other trauma to the chest or torso. The condition appears to have existed for several years and was only discovered during recent diagnoses of a temporary bronchial inflammation.
What treatments or procedures are recommended to correct my elevated hemidiaphragm and increase volumetric capacity beyond it's current 60%? What risks are associated with these treatments and procedures? I am concerned that future backpacking activities at altitudes up to 14,000 ft. might put me at risk for further medical complications or even prevent me from participation.