open lung biopsy - anyone had it? Need advice ASAP

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CT showed white spots on lungs, bhroncoscopy showed no cancer but they want to look further to make sure. I'm 71 yr old female and wonder if this invasive open lung biopsy is worth the risk. What is the risk when they make small incision through rib and take sample? I am terrified about this and wonder what the mortality rate is. I've heard scare stories about pneumonia after, etc. They put a tube in after to let air out. I need advice ASAP as I am scheduled next week for this.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Diane

    If you are having the procedure done next week, you should have received information about this by now.  Check any letter you received from the hospital for an information leaflet or check on line, contact the lung foundation helpline of whichever country you reside for more information to help you understand more.  

    If you put into the web search, open lung biopsy followed by the country you are living in I am sure something will come up to explain the procedure.

    There is a pdf document headed "Open Lung Biopsy, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, (UK) which is an informative read.

     I've not had the procedure myself so I am unable to advise any information other than what is available from the pdf document. Or information that can be found on line.

    You may want to check the other lung, respiratory forums on patient uk as someone may be able to advise you from their own personal experience of having the procedure done.  

    Check also Patient UK for further information on this.  Search box, top right.

    Sorry I can't be of more help.

    Hope all goes well for you with the procedure.

    Best wishes V


  • Posted

    My friend belongs to Breath Easy on Facebook and finds it very good.

    I am nearly 73 and would personally take the risk and don't listen to the scare stories. Pneumonia can be treated immediately with antibiotics should it be necessary. 

    I wiah you all the best, whichever you decide, but I would take Vee2s advice as well.


  • Posted

    Hi diane17333,

    Sweetie, I wouldn't do a darn thing until my questions were answered and I felt comfortable moving forward with this!! Call your Dr office and talk to him or the nurse...research online...ask on forums like this..whatever eases your mind and gives you knowledge. It's your right...scheduled or not, you don't have to go have a procedure done if you dont fully understand it. strong and call your Dr and let them know you have questions and see what they can do for you. I'm glad you asked us bc at least that's a start but not many of us have had that done. I would think they are checking further for cancer cells but I don't know the risks. Please let us know what you find out. You can reschedule your procedure trust me....


  • Posted

    Hi Diane, my husband has had tHis procedure , again as a further check for cancer. The consultant explained that having had a ct scan and nothing having shown up, that : quote "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".He was in hospital for the day, they wanted to keep him in overnight just to monitor him but he asked to go home. He felt no pain and did not have any after affects. The only down side was that he could not fly for 6 months.

    We had been worried about the op as they were unsure if his other lung would withstand it as both lungs are damaged but all went well. I wish you well and hope that it goes as well for you.

  • Posted

    Thank you Sonsy and all who replied. Did your husband have a tube in his chest for a while?  I have decided to not go ahead at this time until I get more information.  My primary doctor said probably wait a couple months and check it again.  Based on what I've researched so far it seems that the calcium in my breasts and the white spots in lungs may be related.  I hope to receive more answers on this site to help me decide on what to do. 
    • Posted

      Applause to you Diane17333!!! Get your questions answered and feel comfortable. Also...There are alot of Dr's that are "surgery happy" and they just do it too easy and too often. I'm not saying YOUR Dr is like that but there are greedy ones out there. Let us know what happens.... ladyjack51

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