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Any doctors about? Is this emphysema?

(15 Posts)
tethersend Thu 08-Nov-12 17:29:58

DP had a chest x ray in may after a chest infection lingered- he has just seen the results whilst at the doctors today, and doesn't seem overly concerned; however, English is not his first language, and I don't know whether to be alarmed by the results of the x ray.

They read:

Emphysematous lungs. No focal lung lesion. Minimal blunting of the costophrenic angles in keeping with COPD. The heart is not enlarged.

Does this effectively mean he has emphysema? The doctor told him that his lungs were damaged from smoking- he hasn't smoked for five years, but the doctor said they were quite damaged. He is 33.

Any advice would be good as Dr.Google, frankly, is a cunt.


tethersend Thu 08-Nov-12 17:31:16

Oh, above the results is 'APPROVED', I'm not sure if this is relevant.

expatinscotland Thu 08-Nov-12 17:33:18

My mom has COPD. But she's 72 and smoked for years. My dad, however, who is 77 and smoked since 1953, doesn't have it.

Bumping for you.

zen1 Thu 08-Nov-12 17:34:39

Well, I'm not a doctor but have a family member who has COPD, which,as I understand, is the modern name for emphysema. However, there are varying degrees of COPD and it maybe that your DP only has minimal damage which maybe why he isn't that worried.

Jollyb Thu 08-Nov-12 17:45:15

Hi Tethersend in your position I would go back to the GP and ask for a referral to a respiratory physician. It is possible (though rare) to develop emphysema by your early 30s, though this diagnosis wouldn't be made on the basis of one X-ray alone.

Stay away from google, don't panic but make sure that he gets properly assessed.

tethersend Thu 08-Nov-12 17:46:13

Thanks expat smile

Zen, I really hope that's the case and not that he hasn't quite grasped the seriousness of the situation.

Bit worried, TBH.

tethersend Thu 08-Nov-12 17:48:02

He's going next week for a 'breathing test' (not sure what that is), and then back in two weeks to see if antibiotics have shifted his cough.

Jollyb Thu 08-Nov-12 17:54:52

Good. They'll be looking at how much air he can hold in his lungs and how quickly he can blow it out - this is an important test in diagnosing emphysema.

I still would push for a referral to a specialist as he is so young.

digerd Thu 08-Nov-12 18:05:09

My brother smoked 40 cigs a day for 45 years and his yearly fitness test at work was of a 20-year-old, and doc said that's because he never smoked, he reckons !!!!!!

tethersend Thu 08-Nov-12 19:22:41

Thanks Jollyb- the reason he went to the GP today is because he has a chest infection after a virus... do you know if will this adversely affect the result of the breath test, or will they be able to get an accurate picture?

Walnutcakelover Thu 08-Nov-12 19:44:34

tethersend I know how you feel, I was in your position earlier this year. My husband went for a chest x-ray because he had some irritation on his chest for quite some time. The results came back as emphymesateous lungs, and obviously that shocked us. The Dr did reassure us by saying it doesn't mean he has emphysema, it just means that when the radiologist told him to take a deep breath whilst doing x-ray, his lungs must have appeared large ( balloon like). He was sent for a spirometery soon after, this is when they have to blow into an instrument three times, and only this will tell you if he has emphysema, not an x-ray. Anyway when he went for the spirometery, his tests came back normal, infact his lungs came up as a 38 year old ( He is 44). He had normal healthy lungs. I think the main symptoms of emphysema are shortness of breath, which my Husband didn't have. Has you Dp got any symptoms? I know it must be worrying, but please try not to be, because I really think he is ok.

Jollyb Thu 08-Nov-12 19:47:49

His lung function tests will be worse if he's got an active infection but they can always be repeated when he's recovered. Try not to worry too much.

tethersend Thu 08-Nov-12 19:59:39

Walnutcakelover, thank you so much for that post; that has really reassured me. I know there are no certainties, but he doesn't have any shortness of breath or any other symptoms normally. That's great that your DH is ok smile

Jollyb, I think I've calmed down a bit now, particularly after your and Walnutcake's posts. Thank you very much for the information- We'll wait and see the results of next week's tests.

Walnutcakelover Thu 08-Nov-12 20:02:44

tether you're welcome, let us know how he gets on, if you want. All the best.x

Walnutcakelover Thu 15-Nov-12 21:50:58

Hi tethersend have you heard anymore about your dh? has he had an appointment through? hope you are well.x

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