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Readers Respond: What Precautions Did You Take Before Having Surgery?

Responses: 4

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Updated June 03, 2010

If you've had surgery since your COPD diagnosis, your doctor may have recommended that you take certain precautions, like quitting smoking, in order to avoid complications of general anesthesia. What precautions, if any, did you take before having surgery? Did they help you avoid complications? Share Your Story

Important to Be Honest About the Disease

I have only 56% vital capacity but underwent elective surgery in 2009. I didn't tell the (foreign) clinic I had a diagnosis of COPD and they did not have access to my medical record. My recovery was delayed, and I suffered an ongoing respiratory infection that lasted months. I told myself I would cease smoking altogether before the op, but, in the event I didn't manage that. But...sometimes you just have to do these things. I survived.
—Guest uglykidjo

No Problems So Far With Surgery

I've had several surgeries since I was diagnosed with COPD 14 years ago (I think!). They always tell me to go ahead and take my COPD medications before leaving home the morning of the surgery, even though I don't take any of my other medications. One reason I don't have problems is probably because I quit smoking years ago and I don't have a lot of mucus in my lungs that would make me cough a lot. And the reason for not having a lot of mucus in my lungs is probably because I don't have a lot of upper respiratory infections which is either caused by or aggravated by smoking.
—kookykathy

COPD and Surgery

In 2007 I needed surgery for a kidney tumor. My primary care doctor, pulmonary doctor and surgeon, after reviewing the results of a test, decided that a chest tube would be inserted into my left chest to help prevent complications. The surgery was a success and the tube, though uncomfortable, remained in my chest for several days after surgery to be sure no post-operation complication would occur. I am doing well 3 years after surgery.
—Guest Linda Crawford

Getting Ready for a Liver Biopsy

A little scared, first time going under, hope I have no problems and wake up. I did quit smoking for almost a month now. Even with COPD, I can still breath OK. I only had to go to emergency a couple times for respiratory treatments. I believe there is hope and I think that quitting smoking is the first and most important thing to do before or if you get diagnosed with COPD. Good luck everyone.
—Guest Lemmy

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What Precautions Did You Take Before Having Surgery?

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