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Lung Cancer

Fluid outside the lung after lung surgery

09/16/2008

Question:

Hello, My sister had Bronchioalveolar carcinoma on her lung. Surgery was on July 20, 2008. Since then she had to get fluid drained out side her lungs about a month ago, and will have to have it done again. Obviously surgery is extremely stressful on all levels, could the adrenals or other glands be working too much or not enough to cause all this edema? To add to her stress as well, we lost our older sister to small cell lung cancer on 7/20/07. I`m thinking that her endocrine system is really stressed out and needs to be balanced out. She is on a thyroid medication for hypo, and anti anxiety pills as well. She lives in a small town, so I don`t know how up to date her doctors are. Can you advise? Getting the fluid drained once a month is not a sign of good health. Thank you.

Answer:

The fluid could be due to a number of things including inflammation, infection, cancer, problems with the kidneys or heart.  I would recommend asking for a referral to a pulmonary doctor to help sort it out.  They can also recommend some other treatment options besides just draining the fluid every month.

I hope this helps.

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Response by:

Sandra L Starnes, MD Sandra L Starnes, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati