Surgery concerns

Posted by kathyhg @kathyhg, Aug 24, 2020

I’m having unexpected surgery in September and the surgeon wants to use a general anesthetic. I’m not sure she knows much about Mac as she didn’t seem concerned when I asked her about it. I’m in the process of calling my respirologist to see if she has concerns but I want to be prepared for my conversations with her and with the surgeon.

I expect a number of people on this forum have had surgery while dealing with Mac and wonder if anyone has any suggestions re: concerns I should be sharing and sorting out with my doctors prior to having surgery.

Thanks so much.

@windwalker

Hello Baz. You were diagnosed five yrs ago with asthma and bronchiectasis. Did you ever test positive for mac?

Jump to this post

Hi Terri, I have coughed up liquid blood on occasion and was always diagnosed with pneumonia when having CT's and X-rays, then a couple of times the radiologist stated that the findings on the film from the scans/X-rays were consistent with MAC but my allergy/asthma doc dismissed that analogy, so no I have never been tested for MAC.

REPLY
@windwalker

Hi Kathy. What date is your surgery in Sept?

Jump to this post

September 25.

Thanks to this group, I’ve gotten my GP on board to send all recent specialist reports to the surgeon and ask for a consult with anaesthesiology. I’ll give it some time and then follow up with the surgeon.

Once again, I’m reminded how important it is to be on top of things.

REPLY
@baz10

Hi Terri, I have coughed up liquid blood on occasion and was always diagnosed with pneumonia when having CT's and X-rays, then a couple of times the radiologist stated that the findings on the film from the scans/X-rays were consistent with MAC but my allergy/asthma doc dismissed that analogy, so no I have never been tested for MAC.

Jump to this post

I've never coughed up blood (how horrible that must be!) or had pneumonia. However, the radiologists who were following my recurring nodules started reporting that the
Ct scans sbowed that the nodules were either a mycobacteria infection or the result of aspiration. I researched and asked my pulmonogist to have me bring in a sputum sample. I had done several when I was first diagnosed with copd and bronchiectasis but it had been several years since testing.

My pulmonologist refused. She said that my increasing mucus was caused by the bronchiectssis and aspiration. I could not understand why she wouldn't order the test so I went to a different pulmonologist in different medical practice. My new doctor gave me a sputum sample container at my first visit.

Several weeks later, she called to tell me that my sputum was positive for MAC.

REPLY
@baz10

Hi Terri, I have coughed up liquid blood on occasion and was always diagnosed with pneumonia when having CT's and X-rays, then a couple of times the radiologist stated that the findings on the film from the scans/X-rays were consistent with MAC but my allergy/asthma doc dismissed that analogy, so no I have never been tested for MAC.

Jump to this post

baz10, What do you think about asking for a sputem test? If you decide to get one, ask that they test for mac and pseudomonas, and tell them you want a suseptibilty test done as well. Do you know what that is? There are still many drs out there that don't know to check that out as an option. I was told I had pneumonia 8 times. I was given a one week prescription of a broad spectrum antibiotic each time I 'had' pneumonia. I was never checked for mac. It is my belief that I had mac all along and not pneumonia.

REPLY
@baz10

Hi Terri, I have coughed up liquid blood on occasion and was always diagnosed with pneumonia when having CT's and X-rays, then a couple of times the radiologist stated that the findings on the film from the scans/X-rays were consistent with MAC but my allergy/asthma doc dismissed that analogy, so no I have never been tested for MAC.

Jump to this post

baz10, I just re-read this post of yours. I think you should insist on a sputem test and know for sure. I don't mean to tell you what you should do, I just don't want you to fall between the cracks. We have all learned here that being your own best health advocate is of upmost importance.

REPLY
@windwalker

Hello Heather! I was diagnosed all of my adult life with asthma and put on inhalers. I have been going to the Mayo Clinic since 2013 and they have never mentioned me having asthma and it is not in my medical records either. So, I do not know if I do or not. I nebulize albuterol daily, so it really doesn't matter either way. I have a feeling that I went for many yrs with serious lung issues and it got blamed on asthma. I was treated short term for recurring pneumonia over the yrs, and I have a feeling it was mac or pseudo instead, My sputem was never tested back in the day; so, who knows??

Jump to this post

@windwalker yes I wonder if it is MAC lung damage rather than asthma, I will ask my specialist next time I go if they can tel the difference or not. Last time my tests were the best ever for me, think its because I hold my breath alot when inhale saline, it helps me get stuff up.

REPLY
@n4seth

Hi Heather…..I also have asthma which we confirmed by pulmonologist after my MAC diagnosis. I have been treated for asthma for years, and he thought perhaps it was all MAC, but it is both.

Jump to this post

@n4seth interesting, maby if we have mild asthma MAC makes it alot worse.

REPLY

@kathyhg Hi, I just had surgery on Tuesday for gallbladder. I had no problems during surgery. I informed the anesthesiologist of my lung issues before the surgery. What I’m finding the hardest is that I CAN’T cough because of the pain it causes. I usually do my Aerobika lung clearance 2x a day, 50 breaths each time, which I am not able to do. I did have extreme pain and tightness around my ribs the next day from the air they fill the stomach cavity with during the surgery. That is subsiding more each day. Today I used the nebulizer with 3% sodium chloride and just a few breaths with the Aerobika. Tomorrow I hope to do a few more. So if you’re not having any type of surgery that involves your abdomen, I think you’ll be ok as long as your anesthesiologist knows your situation and will be prepared.
Best of luck,
Gina

REPLY

Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m encouraged to see that you have done so well in just a few days.

Unfortunately I am having abdominal surgery and I fear that it will be painful and difficult to use my nebulizer because I cough so much when I use it. My respirologist has told me that I should start using my nebulizer and Aerobika as soon as I can so that I can keep my lungs clear. He has also sent a note to the surgeon so she knows more about Mac and concerns related to options for the anesthetic.

I am about as prepared as I can be and hope that everything goes well and I am back to my airway clearance within a few days too.

REPLY

Wishing you the very best! Nancy

REPLY
@kathyhg

Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m encouraged to see that you have done so well in just a few days.

Unfortunately I am having abdominal surgery and I fear that it will be painful and difficult to use my nebulizer because I cough so much when I use it. My respirologist has told me that I should start using my nebulizer and Aerobika as soon as I can so that I can keep my lungs clear. He has also sent a note to the surgeon so she knows more about Mac and concerns related to options for the anesthetic.

I am about as prepared as I can be and hope that everything goes well and I am back to my airway clearance within a few days too.

Jump to this post

Best of luck.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.