Breathing problems following Eliostomy surgery

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New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/11/2009 8:47 PM (GMT -6)   


I've just completed my eliostomy surgery on April 15th.  Recovery is going fairly well considering all that has happened. 

My question is, could not find anything related, "has anyone experienced any breathing/pulmonary problems following their surgery?"  Since surgery I've not been able to sleep lying down, ever since the recovery room I've had to sleep sitting up in a chair.  Only this week have I been able to sleep on my side, proped up by pillows.  Still not lying flat.  I feel like I can't get my breath.  I can breath fairly normal standing, but if I sit there's a marked difference and lying flat on my back is just impossible.  Just realized yesterday that I can't even sniff.

I had spent 8 days in the hospital following surgery, was home for three days but had to go to the ER due to the shortness of breath.  They ran alot of tests and found nothing.  CT Scan, ZT-Scan, Echocardiogram, Resportory tests, blood tests, etc.  Their final thought was it may be a mucus plug. 

A visiting nurse suggested it my be due to inflammation of internal organs putting pressure on the diaphragm/lungs when I sit or lay down.

If anyone has experienced this I would really like to hear from you.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 5/11/2009 9:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Your nurse could be right. As things find their new home internally and the swelling goes away, you may have some luck laying flat. Keep moving, walking and trying to do the deep breathing exercises. As you heal and the pain goes away, hopefully you will be able to take deep breaths again. Have you tried taking some short breaths stacked together w/o exhaling? (Short breath, wait 1-2 seconds, (don't exhale) take another short breath, wait 1-2 seconds, (don't exhale), etc. Try to do that a few times to expand your lungs. Then breathe out slowly and PUSH all the air out of your lungs... using your diaphram to empty them. You will probably feel this in your stomach if you are still sore. Do this a few times an hour - like during commercials if you are watching tv. Maybe this might help.

Keep us posted,
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 

Allen Jenkins
New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/25/2009 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I had open heart surgery March 18, 3 months ago. I was on a respirator for 10 days and contracted pneumonia. The respirator messed up my swallow, so a feeding tube had to be inserted into my stomach before I was released from the hospital. The type of tube they put in me was a 4 week tube that had to be surgically removed.

During this time, my stamina, breathing everything was returning close to normal before the heart attack. Then they removed the feeding tube. This was 4 weeks ago. My breathing has gotten so bad, I am similar to what you describe. Today I noticed that I also, couldn't even sniff. I had already noticed that I was having problems sneezing or blowing my nose.

I have been in ER twice and had a hospital stay of 5 days. One doctor saying it was upper respiratory, the other saying it was lower respiratory. I will have to tell them about the sniffing....

Anyone have any suggestions??
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