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Hi my mother is 64years old. we find out that she has water in her lungs and feet she struggles to breath, her heart ernlarge how ill they drain that water from her?

By Anonymous January 27, 2016 - 3:17am
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Hi my mother is 64years old, she went to do the echo test they find out that her heart enlarged, lungs and feet they have water. She is struggling to breath. I need to know how will tjey treat her. Will they drain her using syringe or will they give her medication to drain her.lm worried.

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Hello Anonymous,

Welcome to EmpowHER. Thank you for reaching out to us with your concerns regarding your mother. I will do my very best to explain what is happening and what possible treatments may be used.

Physicians will use the layman's term, water in the lungs and feet, to try to explain the medical condition of pulmonary edema and peripheral edema.

Pulmonary edema is a condition in which the lungs fill with fluid. When this occurs, the body struggles to get enough oxygen.

The most common cause of pulmonary edema is congestive heart failure. Heart failure is characterized by the heart no longer being able to pump blood properly throughout the body.

In pulmonary edema, the heart works harder to push blood through the body. This puts added pressure on the small blood vessels of the lungs. In order to relieve this growing pressure, the vessels release fluid into the lungs.

Difficulty breathing, especially with lying down, breathlessness, coughing, wheezing, leg swelling or edema, and abnormal heart rate are symptoms of pulmonary edema.

Giving oxygen is the first step in the treatment for pulmonary edema. Depending on the cause of pulmonary edema, appropriate medication is prescribed.

Preload reducing medications decrease the pressure caused by fluid going into your heart and lungs. Doctors commonly prescribe nitroglycerin and diuretics such as furosemide (Lasix) to treat pulmonary edema. Diuretics may make you urinate so much initially that you may temporarily need a urinary catheter while you're in the hospital. The drug nifedipine (Procardia) may sometimes be prescribed.

Afterload reducers, such as nitroprusside (Nitropress), dilate the blood vessels and take a pressure load off the heart's left ventricle.

Anonymous, most likely the physicians will try these treatments.

Leg swelling caused by the retention of fluid in leg tissues is known as peripheral edema.There are many causes, but in your mother's situation, congestive heart failure is the cause.

Leg edema related to congestive heart failure or liver disease can be treated with a diuretic.

That takes us to the enlarged heart.

An enlarged heart or cardiomegaly isn't a disease, but rather a symptom of another condition.

It can be caused by conditions that cause your heart to pump harder than usual or that damage your heart muscle.

These include:
High blood pressure
Heart valve disease
Pulmonary Hypertension

Anonymous, I understand this is a lot of information but I hope in some way it helps you understand your mother's health situation. It can be very overwhelming.


January 27, 2016 - 9:32am
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