What causes breathing spasm and cramp triggered by a burp?
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Debilitating breathing spasm / cramp triggered by a burp or hiccup? Pleurisy? I had laparoscopic surgery a week ago to remove gall bladder and 4 tumor suspects in liver. This is related to my condition which is pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. The surgery went fine, but twice yesterday (once from a burp and other from a hiccup) triggered absolutely incredible pain in my LEFT rear rib cage (not right where gall bladder was). It felt like a hole had been punched into my chest lining and the resulting breathing spasm (dyspnea) lasted like 10 minutes. Worst pain I've ever had. I could feel a kind of rumbling / fluttering in that location as if the diaphragm was aggravated by something. Everything I've read suggests some kind of pleuritic problem. My recovery drugs include acetaminophen and oxycodone, but no anti-inflammatories or steroids. I'm of course following up with my doctor and hospital, but I think using this service for an independent pulmonologist is worth a shot too, since this is all about why is my breathing so affected.
Posted Fri, 21 Mar 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 21 hours later
Brief Answer: The pain could be because of pleurisy. Detailed Answer: Hello XXXX From your description, the pain in the left rib cage appears to be pleuritic in nature. The breathing spasm is because of acute, sharp pain. The cause could be inflammation of diaphragmatic pleura as a reaction to irritation of diaphragm during surgery. In view of history of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour, the spread of tumour to the lungs or pleura has to be ruled out. This spread may cause pleurisy and lead to sharp chest pain. You must consult your treating physician and you have to get a x ray chest straight away. If required, you may have to go in for USG chest or CT chest to rule out any pathology in the lungs and pleura.
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