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fluid build up in abdomen and restricted breathing

my stepdad had openheart surgery to fix a valve.sense his surgery he's had fluid build up in and around stomach making him feel like he's sufficating.dr. can't find the problem.thay've did all tests,his kidney level is 1.5. they put him on a shot laysex and a cath. it goes down. they've done chest exrays it's fine.please help.
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Hi

Just going from experience with my dad .  Though he did not have surgery he had a heart attack.

Recently my dad (also has emphesema) he became very swollen, legs, ankles, feet, stomach. We had to take him to the hospital becasue he was having an extremely hard time breathing. Breathing becomes difficult becasue of the buildup of fluid and the organs cannot process the extra fluid out.   He was later diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  Congestive heart failure causes swelling in any or all of these areas, including difficulty breathing.  He is now on a very very low sodium diet and is doing great.  Congestive heart failure is more of a sympton then a disease so to speak.  It is a result of problems with either the heart or lungs not functioning properly.  

Please take note if your dad is eating higher or high sodium.  this is a major culprit for swelling.   Maybe you can mention this to your dads doctor

take care
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The above comment was very interesting.  I am type II diabetic and I have high blood pressure.  I am seeing specialist for asthma due to difficulty breathing at times.

What I have noticed when I am having difficulty breathing, there is some swelling in my feet, legs and ankles and I have been assuming that it is water retention due to all of the above conditions..  Could I have been misdiagnosed and simply having breathing problems due to fluid retention or possibly some underlying oncoming condition such as conjestive heart failure?  I watch my sodium intake and have a yearly stress test.
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