We at Unity Memorial Hospital specialize in the surgical management of all thoracic diseases pertaining to the lungs, esophagus, mediastinum, chest wall and diaphragm. We are a state-of-the-art tertiary referral centre offering all major thoracic surgical procedures such as complex lung resections including segmental and sleeve resections for lung cancer, tuberculosis and other infective conditions, emphysema and congenital lesions. Tracheal surgery and reconstructions is our forte and we have the largest series of tracheal reconstructions in Canada.
We have a considerable expertise in surgery for major mediastinal tumors, chest wall tumors and reconstructions. We are also well versed with esophageal surgery for cancer, strictures, etc. Management of major cardiothoracic trauma due to road traffic accidents, assault and stab injuries, gunshots, etc., are some of the routinely handled procedures and surgeries. Due to our capacities of handling the most intricate cases with immense diligence, we have become a major referral centre for all types of thoracic surgical problems.
Diaphragm paralysis is uncommon. Whether the paralysis occurs in one (unilateral) or both (bilateral) sides of the diaphragm, all patients will experience some amount of reduction in lung capacity. This is most severe with bilateral diaphragm paralysis. Unilateral diaphragm paralysis commonly has no symptoms. However, if unilateral diaphragm paralysis occurs in patients with significant heart or lung disorders, symptoms can become evident.The diaphragm can be the site of many different disorders, ranging from a structural abnormality that a person is born with (congenital) to an injury or serious illness.
The causes and risk factors that compromise diaphragmatic function include:
Symptoms of significant, usually bilateral diaphragm weakness or paralysis are shortness of breath when lying flat, with walking or with immersion in water up to the lower chest. Bilateral diaphragm paralysis can produce sleep-disordered breathing with reductions in blood oxygen levels. Newborns and children with unilateral diaphragmatic paralysis may experience more severe respiratory distress than adults, due to weaker muscles and a more compliant chest wall. The newborn may have a weak cry or show signs of gastrointestinal distress, with frequent vomiting. Children with bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis require immediate medical attention and ventilator intervention because the condition can be life-threatening. Patients with bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis may experience a 70-80 percent reduction in lung capacity while patients with unilateral diaphragmatic paralysis may experience a 50 percent reduction.