the diaphram is controled by 2 phrenic nerves. One on each side
i lost the right side diaphram some time over 5 years ago.
i do not have as much breath support when singing as I used to have, but all in all I do pretty well.
Obviously you can't "breath down" toward the stomach and as a result my right lung is a bit collapsed up.
I also have COPD from a farming accident as a kid so I have lung scaring on top of it.
Granted my life now is not as easy as it used to be and I cough a lot. (it is easier to get a lung infection due to the lungs not opening completely.)
So get your flu and pneumonia shots.
But here is the thing---I live at 7000 feet, am 53 years old, can do a days manual labor with the best of them.
I believe personally that it is the progression of my copd and not the diaphram problems that are changing my life.
Watch your weight stay active and stay in shape and things will be fine
If you can not breath, I have been told that they can do a diaphragm stimulator implant. But I haven't needed it
If you have phrenic nerve damage you might be a candidate for a new procedure! Ií m very excited and hopeful as I was operated on 1 week ago by a great team of surgeons. There was testing involved to make sure I was a candidate as not all will be. My chances of a complete recovery will have several limiting factors. 1. The length of time my nerve was damaged (over 5 years). The fact that my diaphragm was logged in my chest cavity. Made the surgery difficult. (the latter is unusual and will not apply to most).
The recovery time is approximately 1 year. During this time a transplanted nerve will be growing into place to replace the damaged nerve. I will be posting updates on my own progress over the next year for anyone that is interested in this procedure
I can say that if nothing else happens I have gained back several functions that have already made a change in my life. I can now lay flat on my back w/o grasping for breath. I can bend over and tie my own shoes , again w/o grasping for breath. And last of all the fact that there were faint sounds coming from my right lung for the 1st time in 5 years leads me to have a hope that did not exist just 1 week ago
I too was told I had COPD. That diagnosis came along with my paralyzed diaphragm. I've been to the Mayo clinic and they confirm my belief that it was the problems with the diaphragm. My problems to worstened as I got older. My diaphragm eventurally ended up in my chest cavity. It,s been a long road but for the 1st time in years I feel there is some hope for me.
The Dr's are great and it only cost me a few minutes on the phone with the Dr and a 2 day trip to see if I quailfied. I'm case # 13 so it is a new use of an established technique.
Good luck to you and let me know if you need any more information.
If your diaphragm becomes paralyzed there is a reason. You must determine what caused it to "freeze up" You may and probably would feel short of breath with little effort. The symptoms vary in each patient. Mine , for example was caused by a surgery thqt didn't go well. I see you are in NJ. Dr Kaufman in Shrewsberry, NJ performed a nerve transplant that is still in the healing process but has made a great change in my life. If you look at my other posts you will be able to see what I have talked about in the past. He can get you set up for testing if you are having a difficult time. Good luck to you.
Last edited by Administrator; 04-04-2011 at 06:50 AM.
TY for your answer. My diaphragm is NOT paralyzed (yet) he is using the word neuropathy ( sorry for the spelling of that)...but I do believe it happened during surgery too.....now doc is blaming it on my Asthma which I have NOT had a problem with in YEARS!.....only on very hot and humid days do I EVER use my inhaler or need to take a neb. treatment...Did you have lots of pain while breathing? Breathing problems started that very night of surgery...now he is sending me to a Lung specialist who I see on Friday...don't know if I can trust what she says, if he is recommending the BEST and HEAD of the Dept. in the area to me and knows her well......
I have just been diagnosed with Chronic right Diaphragm immobility. With a possiblity of nerve paralysis. I had a steroid shot that colapsed my imune system in Sept of 2010. By Dec. I had fought with a bacterial infection constantly for 3 months. My oxygen dropped to 85 and pulse rate went to 125. I was in bed for 3 months fighting this infection, by the end it had damaged my heart as well. Now I have Congestive heart failure and the lung issue. and require Oxygen 24/7. I am permanatly disabled now and there are days when I can barely get out of bed. I see a specialist on Monday, but sometimes these guys become very short sighted and you have to realy guide them. Investigate and learn all you can and then ask questions.
I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to you! You are right about short sightedness though. To many Dr's take it upon themselves to think that if they don't have the answer then there isn't one!
I was left with a paralyzed diaphragm after a botched surgery and lots of lies about what my problem was. My Diaphragm eventually ended up in my chest cavity next to my heart and left me with all kinds of health problems.
<My doctor> recently performed a phrenic nerve transplant and a phrenic pacemaker to aid a person that could not breath on there own.
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Last edited by Administrator; 04-04-2011 at 06:46 AM.
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i am 25 years old and have been very sick the last year, i was diagnosed with a paralyzed left diaphragm and am going to new jersey to have a nerve transplant done by dr. kaufmann on sept. 30th. someone please contactme if u have had this procedure done before. im going to be his youngest patient ever to have this done and there really is no reason for this to happen. my quality of life is terribe and i have been on oxygen since april. i have never had a surgery, injury, or trauma to cause it. just 2 major rounds of double pneumonia and radioactive radiation iodine treatments to my thyroid 3 years ago that possibly could have caused this. just waiting to find someone with info about dr. kaufman in new jersey. if anyone here has had this procedure!! thanks so much... hope to here from u soon
Last edited by moderator2; 08-29-2011 at 08:33 PM.
Hi Heather, Sorry to her about your paralyzed diaphragm. Yes you are very young but this problem evidently knows no boundaries. I was operated on by Dr. Kaufman 16 months ago. For me It was a leap of faith. I was case # 13 and really had no other options. i searched for 5 years with out any positive results. The bad thing about a diaphragm is the atrophy to the muscle seems to occur more rapidly than it does to others. So the possibility of no positive results were the risk I had to be willing to take. I had been to the Mayo Clinic and they felt if I had been told in the 1st 6-12 months that there would be hope but I was well beyond that. Need less to say I was devastated. One night I came across Dr Kaufman on the Internet. I contacted him and we talked. He felt it would be worth the trip to at least meet Dr Cole for a nerve study. Dr Cole was able to locate a signal in the pherenic nerve and I was ecstatic.
Needless to say I had the surgery. A nerve was removed from my right leg and transplanted from the phrenic nerve to the diaphragm. then it was wait and see. the regrowth is a slow process and I knew that I was looking at 8 -14 months for a recovery time. 11 months after the surgery I experienced spasms in my diaphragm. It was a little painful and I was not sure what was happening. My employer sent me home for the rest of the day. I called Dr. Kaufman's office and everyone was ecstatic. The fact that i was having these spasms meant that my diaphragm was getting the signal and trying to respond. To this day I still have the occasional spasm but usually after I've challenged myself to try and reach a new
plateau. In my case, the surgery was caused by a procedure gone bad, lies by the dr that did the procedure, a diaphragm that had elevated into the chest cavity, compressing other organs and leaving me in very poor health. I could not even run 50 ft.
Today things are looking up. This spring I ran my 1st 5k and have since ran 2 more and actually won one for my age group. I repelled 17 stories into a mine shaft and climbed back
out on a 17 story spiral staircase. I no longer use a c-pap to breath at night. I work out at the gym 4-5 days a week. I can bend over and tie my own shoes again and lie flat on my back to sleep.
I recently had a sniff test. The Dr. performing the test asked my why I was there. He had done the test on me before and proclaimed " these thing don't get better" few seconds later he said " dam it just moved" He was excited himself as a Dr. because it was the 1st he had seen.
Have I made a complete recovery? No! But Im so much better than I was I would do it over in a heartbeat!! Will I make a complete recovery? Don't know! I am in my Late 50's, What i do know it has given me a reason to look forward to living again and I'm taking every minute and making the most of it. I expect repelling was just the beginning of new adventures to come.