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Welcome to the New!

Welcome to the fresh new!

This new software should allow us to administer more easily and to update the look and feel more easily.

One feature we had originally when we started this adventure 14 years ago, was the personal stories and experiences section. This will be returning very soon. It is a great benefit to be able to learn from the experiences of others. Especially for those who are faced with the new uncertainty of Valve Replacement Surgery.

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Hank and Michelle Eyring
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pleural effusion question

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  • pleural effusion question


    I am 2 months post-op. Shortly after surgery, chest x-ray identified I had a small amount of pleural effusion that was nothing to be worried about. My cardiologist said my lungs sounded ok after my 3 week post-op check up.

    What I am experiencing now and have been since the surgery, is a crackling sound, very faint and slight when I breathe in. I notice it mostly when I first wake up in the morning, breathing in my nose or mouth. My doctor had said at the 3 week post-op check, it was still the pleural effusion but should go away soon. I have no other symptoms and feel I am breathing fine, no pain, etc.

    Anyone else experience this? Also, if you have slight pleural effusion, what is the recommendation if it is not going away? I am going to make an appt. with my GP this week to have her listen to my lungs for a start, but wondered if anyone had experienced the crackling sound with breathing.

    Thanks, Betsy
    Bicuspid Aortic Valve Replacement and Aortic Aneurysm Repair
    Nov. 29, 2007 - Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Lars Svensson
    Carpentier-Edwards Bovine Pericardial Aortic Tissue Valve

  • #2
    The only time I experienced that sound was before my operation when I was in A-Fib which led to the beginning of CHF.
    Mitral valve repair & maze procedure - October 20, 2005 - Montreal Heart Institute
    A-Fib - August 2005
    Endocarditis - 2004


    • #3
      Hi Betsy.

      Nothing to contribute about your situation (no knowledge or experience), but I am very glad that you will be asking a doctor about it. I would probably want to take the next step and see a pulmonologist, if it were me....just to be sure. Or at least get a good answer as to when the GP would call in a pulmonologist.

      Please keep us posted.

      You will be in my thoughts!

      AVR 4/18/06, age 52. Bovine tissue. CE Perimount RSR Model 2800. 23 mm. BAV diagnosed age 27(1981). Moderate stenosis (1.0 cm) 9/03; severe stenosis (.7cm) 12/05, Aortic measure at surgery 4/06, critical (.53 cm)


      • #4
        A you got the Rice Krispies! Air trapped within the lung cavity as well as fluid. If it gets painful to breath, make your way to the ER.


        • #5
          Is the faint crackle sound something that should clear up on it's own quickly, or might it take 2 months or more? And if it is air trapped within the lung cavity as well as fluid, what is the solution usually?

          Also, I really only hear it when I wake up in the morning. Anyone know why?

          Will keep you posted on what doc says...

          Thanks, Betsy
          Bicuspid Aortic Valve Replacement and Aortic Aneurysm Repair
          Nov. 29, 2007 - Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Lars Svensson
          Carpentier-Edwards Bovine Pericardial Aortic Tissue Valve


          • #6
            I don't think breathing "crackles" are ever good.

            I recently had a sinus infection that just didn't want to go away and it quickly dropped into a bronchitis which the doctor caught from my wheezing--but it was news to me because I wasn't even aware I had a wheeze! He immediately put me on more antibiotics. Anyway, there's just a lot of this kind of stuff going around right now.

            So, no matter what it turns out to be, take care and please let us know what you find out.


            • #7

              My husband had a plueral effusion post surgery. About three weeks after the surgery, we returned to the hospital, and he had a chest xray done. The effusion had not dissipated, he was short of breath, and it was decided to have him return in about 5 days, and if it hadn;t improved, they would drain it. I think he must have had a total of 8 to 10 chest xrays done during this period of time. Five days later we returned, it was still there, and the surgeon drained a pretty good size bag of it, by inserting a needle between his ribs in the back. Although the procedure was less than pleasant, and we did have to return to the hospital later in the evening (long story on that), it was enough to make his stop being so short of breath. The remaining fluid actually drained into his tissues from the puncture.....horrid "bruising" like affect on the rest of his body......again long story. Personally I think the entire thing was caused by their removing the chest tubes too early. (less than two days)

              If I were you, I would demand a chest xray be done, and if there is still fluid there, get it drained. There could be a lot of old blood/fluids still in your body that your tissues just are not getting rid of.



              • #8
                Just logged on after a two day break and wanted to chime in on this post....I am 2 1/2 weeks post op and last Monday I presented to the ER because of intense pain with deep breathing. I had a chest x-ray and an echo. The ER doctor, (not the sharpest tool in the shed) initially diagnosed me with pneumonia, although I had no cough of fever. The following day I went to the cardiologist for my scheduled hospital follow up and after looking at the tests she said I did NOT have pneumonia, but rather had pleural effusions. My surgeon, who had the tests forwarded to him for review in California, also said I had pleural effusions. I started a regimen of 800 mg of Motrin every 6 hours around the clock and it really did help. However, I stopped after a couple days and now the pain has returned, although not as severe. I also have noticed shortness of breath upon climbing the stairs to my bedroom, which is ridiculous since it is only 13 stairs. I am so totally freaked out about the prospect of having it "drained" especially after reading the other post about the pain and side effects. I also had my chest tubes removed really quickly...the big one was removed the morning after my surgery in ICU and the smaller one was removed the next day. Betsy, let me know what your doctor says. I don't hear any crackles but I generally feel awful, kind of achey all over like I have the flu and still have the pain upon inhallation, although not as severe.
                Good luck to you and I wish you the best!
                4.9 cm Ascending Aortic Aneurysm Resection under total circulatory arrest and Bicuspid Aortic Valve Repair Jan 15, 2008 Dr. Sharo Raissi, Cedars Sanai Hospital, Los Angeles, CA