Tummy Tuck Four Years Ago; Extremely Overweight Then; Sob and Asthma Exasperated Since then?

I had tummy tuck four yrs ago weighing about 270 at 5'6". I wear CPAP and have obstructive sleep apnea. Since the surgery, I have found it harder and harder to breath and my asthma has become much worse than it ever has been. What can be done. I want to know if anything can be done. Also because of my large size xrays not showing bottom left lower lung, which my doctor believes is collapsed. Can this have been caused by the tummy tuck?

Doctor Answers 1

Tummy Tuck Four Years Ago Sob and Asthma Exacerbated Since then?

It seems possible to tighten the abdominal wall so much doing a tummy tuck that it would increase the intrabdominal pressure and therefore compress the chest contents and make it harder to breathe early on after surgery.

It is, however, hard to imagine that that could be a problem lasting four years. The abdominal cavity has an enormous capacity to stretch in response to increased intraabdominal pressure.  Otherwise, your shortness of breath if caused by this mechanism would have occurred long before you weighed even 270 pounds. 

If your doctor is concerned about the left lower lungs, there are other exams that can be done besides a chest x-ray, and those can be done if the diagnosis would be helpful in providing treatment. 

Seeing a pulmonary specialist will be more valuable in sorting out the reason for your increasing shortness of breath than anything a plastic surgeon answering on this site can offer. 

Thank you for the question, best wishes.

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