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Author: Subject: PC and breathing problems
tommy84
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[*] posted on 8-18-2008 at 02:50 PM
PC and breathing problems


Hi all,

I was wondering...does anyone know if there is any definitive link between breathing difficulties and PC? I have moderate asymmetrical PC and have always had difficulty engaging in strenuous physical activity despite being in relatively decent shape (I'm 23, 5'7'' and about 135lbs, don't have asthma and I don't smoke). I would get winded fairly easily it would take quite a while to regain my breath.

Anyway, I told my primary care physician about this and I underwent a whole slew of tests including an echocardiogram and EKG to see if there was any underlying condition that could be the root of my issue. Those tests showed nothing out of the ordinary; my heart, lungs, and blood all came back clean. He ultimately chalked up my problem to "anxiety" and told me to "stop worrying" so much. So essentially, he views my PC as purely cosmetic in nature and says it is NOT linked to any health issues (and therefore if I do decide to get surgery in the US, insurance will not cover it so long as I'm with this doctor).

However, I've read in numerous publications (scientific journals and the like) that have hinted at a possible link between PC and breathing, but can't seem to find anything specific aside from the following nugget of info from the University of Minnesota's PE/PC site:

Quote:

What is important to recognize is that this carinatum deformity produces a very rigid chest so the chest is almost secured in a position near full inspiration. Thus, respirations are inefficient and the individual needs to use the diaphragm and accessory muscles for respiration rather than normal chest muscles during strenuous exercise. These finding are typical for a restrictive lung disease type pattern. Here the heart is in normal position and there is rarely a murmur. There is however, loss of pulmonary function. If one takes a careful history from the individual, they have difficulty with strenuous exercises, walking upstairs and they may have asthma.


Anyone have anything (personal experiences, resources, etc.) else they'd like to share?

Thanks!
avdoty
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[*] posted on 8-18-2008 at 08:33 PM


My son used to tell me that he had to run with the "fat" kids in P/E because he couldn't keep up with everyone else. He ultimately had a pulmonary function test that confirmed he had some breathing restriction but it was never quantified to me. This was enough to get the insurance company to approve surgery.

One important point to understand is that some of the health problems don't show up on tests unless they are conducted during exercise. My son's EKG, echocardiogram and PF tests were all done at rest. If the insurance company didn't approve his surgery I would have gone back and made sure they were redone with some type of stress (i.e., during exercise).

It sounds like your primary care physician doesn't support your desire to have your PC fixed. I would tell him the name of a specific thoracic surgeon you want a referral to. My son's doctor was not supportive until we took matters into our own hands and were much more definitive about what we wanted done. I'll bet your doctor comes around, but if he doesn't, you can always get another doctor.

Good luck.




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tommy84
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[*] posted on 8-26-2008 at 01:51 AM


thanks for the advice avdoty.

I'm slowly beginning to get progress here on my end. I got an appointment with another thoracic surgeon next week so hopefully it goes well. I just found out I don't need referrals to see specialists so that's a huge relief for me; I didn't have to deal with begging my primary doctor for the referral.

Hope your son's recovery is going well.

-tom
zahra
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[*] posted on 10-8-2009 at 08:07 AM


I have had breathing difficulties with my pc as well. I get winded with minimal exercise. My regular pulminary function tests came back normal, but when I did an exercise pulminary function test it showed that my lungs were not functioning well with exercise.

If you haven't had pulminary tests done, check into those, especially the exercise function test.
stas
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[*] posted on 10-14-2009 at 03:10 AM


from what i understand pc is the state of the ribs being locked in a fully extended position, and i too had problems with breathing after working out, even when i was doing swimming practice 8-12 times a week
mart
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[*] posted on 10-15-2009 at 01:39 AM


I had to work hard to get reasonably fit but even then I would get the winded feeling shortly after starting out but it would gradually pass and my endurance was then pretty good. Since my operation in Berlin last May I haven't noticed getting that winded feeling at all. My chest feels a bit constricted by the bars but there definitely seems to be an improvement.

Martin
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jonbrion
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[*] posted on 1-17-2010 at 03:57 PM


That's really interesting, I also have an assymetrical PC and I can relate.

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