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What causes severe cough after shoulder surgery?

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Posted on Mon, 7 Dec 2015
Question: Had shoulder surgery 9-23 Anesthesiologist accidently paralyzed rt lung. Been on diuretic since but still coughing. Sometimes yellow throat/lung phlegm w/ small dots of blood. Breathing still a little labored. How long will this last?
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Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (35 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Better to consult pulmonologist and get done CT thorax and bronchoscopy.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question on Health Care Magic.
I can understand your concern.
You might be having phrenic nerve injury during surgery.
And this causes paralysis of diaphragm of same side.
Diaphragm is strongest muscle of respiration. So if it does not work properly, there is high chances of right lung collapse (passive collapse).
Honestly speaking, this kind of phrenic nerve injuries are not revert back to normal.
They are kind of permanent injury.
So you might be having permanent right sided lung collapse.
And infection is common in collapsed (non functioning) lung which causes similar symptoms.
So better to consult pulmonologist and get done
1. CT thorax with Contrast
2. Bronchoscopy and XXXXXXX (bronchoalveolar lavage) analysis.
Both these are needed to rule out infection.
You may need antibiotics if infection is there.
In general, collapsed lung needs
1. Chest physiotherapy and deep breathing exercises
2. Inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)
3. Adult Pulmonary vaccination with pneumococcal and Influenza vaccines to prevent recurrent respiratory tract infection.
4. Mucolytic, expectorant and antioxidants drugs.
So better to consult pulmonologist and discuss all these.
Hope I have solved your query.
I will be happy to help you further.
Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 14880 Questions

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What causes severe cough after shoulder surgery?

Brief Answer: Better to consult pulmonologist and get done CT thorax and bronchoscopy. Detailed Answer: Thanks for your question on Health Care Magic. I can understand your concern. You might be having phrenic nerve injury during surgery. And this causes paralysis of diaphragm of same side. Diaphragm is strongest muscle of respiration. So if it does not work properly, there is high chances of right lung collapse (passive collapse). Honestly speaking, this kind of phrenic nerve injuries are not revert back to normal. They are kind of permanent injury. So you might be having permanent right sided lung collapse. And infection is common in collapsed (non functioning) lung which causes similar symptoms. So better to consult pulmonologist and get done 1. CT thorax with Contrast 2. Bronchoscopy and XXXXXXX (bronchoalveolar lavage) analysis. Both these are needed to rule out infection. You may need antibiotics if infection is there. In general, collapsed lung needs 1. Chest physiotherapy and deep breathing exercises 2. Inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) 3. Adult Pulmonary vaccination with pneumococcal and Influenza vaccines to prevent recurrent respiratory tract infection. 4. Mucolytic, expectorant and antioxidants drugs. So better to consult pulmonologist and discuss all these. Hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.