What will help reduce pleural thickening?
Q: I am suffering from pleural effusion from the past three months. I used to have pain in my shoulder. Consequent to removal of fluid, x-ray showed pleural thickening and pain is felt in the abdomen region. I am on ATT for the past two months. Along with the medicine I have been advised respiratory exercise. What kind of exercises will help and what is the anticipated recovery period? Isn't ATT supposed to reduce pleural thickening? Any dietary restrictions that would help?
A:I can understand the agony you are going through, but it has a gradual and slow process to recovery. 1. I suggest, you see your physician again if the pain persists. 2. ATT drugs usually help to dry up the fluid and slow down the re-accumulation of the fluid. 3. The estimated period of recovery depends on the extent of effusion and the time you have started your treatment. So, it varies from patient to patient. 4. Breathing exercises should be started to prevent chest deformity and loss of respiratory function due to thickening of the pleura. 5. Learn localised deep breathing exercises from a physiotherapist for even the apical areas of the lung even though the effusion is usually in the posterior basal areas. 6. Lie on the unaffected side with two pillows under your thorax to open up the ribs on the affected side. Lie in this position for half an hour at a time at least four times a day and practice expansion exercises in this position. 7. Continue these exercises, till chest expansion on both sides is equal, and the X-ray report has improved. 8. If exercises aggravate your pain, do them slowly and gradually increase the intensity. 9. I suggest you follow the dietary instructions as per your physician's advice.