3 Month Follow-Up / Pleural Effusion

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libra rising

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Joined
Mar 8, 2018
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45
Location
England
Surgery date : May 26th 2018 (AVR)
Discharge : June 18th 2018
Follow-up appointment : August 20th 2018

Arrived at 10.30 (just before) for 11 am consultation , as asked for pre-consultation tests. Had x-ray, ECG, and Echo, which took me to 11.56. Then I was sat waiting in Outpatients. I saw my consultant was running 30 minutes late, then noticed it change to 120 minutes ! I checked with Reception - was it okay to pop off and pay my post-op ward a visit ? Yes it was. She could text me if I was needed.

After ward visit sat again in Reception, expecting roughly a 1 pm consultation. 1 pm became 1.15 then 1.30 1.40 1.50. Finally at 1.55 I saw the consultant (sadly not my surgeon) who was delighted with everything, and said I was being discharged without the need for any further follow-up from Harefield Hospital.

What surprised me about the day is that my x-ray showed the presence still of some pleural effusion. Compared with the June x-ray, probably about a third of the pleural effusion remained. This was of no concern to my consultant, and probably shouldn't be to me, either.
I simply wondered if anyone here had experience of slow-shifting pleural effusion ?
Geoff
 

Rob88

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Aug 4, 2017
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Location
Canada
It can take time to clear up. At around 2.5 months I wasn't feeling great so I went to ER to be safe. I had a pleural and pericardial effusion which was there from before. Nobody mentioned the pleural effusion and I wouldn't have known if I didn't look at my own images and read the report. Pericardial was more of a concern to them, as it was something that had previously been drained. Anyway i had a follow up ultrasound a month later and both weren't there enough to mention by then.
 

ejc61

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Jun 24, 2010
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Location
Kennesaw, GA
My pleural effusion came about around 8 weeks after surgery. I was told during the pre surgery period that pleural effusion occurs in approximately 20% of all heart surgeries. Yes it can start months later. Mine was minimal and I was given a steriod pack. It did go away.
 

epstns

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Chicago area
I also had pleural effusion after surgery. Mine started a couple of weeks after surgery, and it took a couple of months to fully resolve. I was not given steroids, but was told to take ibuprofen for a couple of weeks. That was enough of an anti-inflammatory to get things to resolve. Also, I found that the more active I became, the better the effusion got. How active are you at this point? I started cardio rehab at 12 weeks, and by the second or third week of rehab, I was in the gym or rehab center 5 days a week. That probably helped.
 

libra rising

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
45
Location
England
epstns;n885003 said:
I also had pleural effusion after surgery. Mine started a couple of weeks after surgery, and it took a couple of months to fully resolve. I was not given steroids, but was told to take ibuprofen for a couple of weeks. That was enough of an anti-inflammatory to get things to resolve. Also, I found that the more active I became, the better the effusion got. How active are you at this point? I started cardio rehab at 12 weeks, and by the second or third week of rehab, I was in the gym or rehab center 5 days a week. That probably helped.
I was fairly fit before surgery (mini-thoracotomy), and still worked as a window cleaner. All i had to do was 'pace' myself, to avoid breathlessness, but tiredness became more of an issue, the closer the surgery got.

On the 9th of July (once I was okay to drive again) I informed my customers that I hoped to return to ladder work in August, and in the meantime would do bungalows and downstairs windows. This has all come to pass, without any problems.

I've started Rehab (one weekly session - two so far), and my main discovery from a pre-assessment was that I seemed to have only two heart rates - low and high, but not intermediate. The suggested exercises were intended to establish this intermediate heart rate. I don't know if this is being achieved, and await feedback on that.

Re-reading my discharge letter from Harefield Hospital (August 20th) I note he says
"his right pleural effusion has decreased considerably since June".

Given that a chest drain was considered unnecessary in June, because I would walk off the pleural effusion, I was simply surprised that after some weeks of being active, some still remains.

No worries
Geoff
 

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