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