Blockage of a lobe - 1253217

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double trouble
Blockage of a lobe - 1253217

If there is a total blockage in the bronchus to a lobe of the lung, what will happen to that lobe? Would that starve the lobe of oxygen, cause necrosis, starve tumors in that lobe, etc.?

Thanks,
Debra

catdander
Reply To: Blockage of a lobe

Debra, won't even try to guess at that one, except to say collapsed lungs often harbor pneumonia due to the structure's need for oxygen and the lack there of.

I'll ask a doctor for input here. You should hear back within the day.

Take care,
Janine

double trouble
Reply To: Blockage of a lobe

Thanks Janine. I haven't heard anything about collapse, just "total blockage."
Debra

Dr Laskin
Reply To: Blockage of a lobe

Hi Debra

i'm afraid that i need to start with the disclaimer that i am a chemo doc, not a pulmonologist (this is more their area), however we do see this often enough for me to say a few comments in general.

if you can imagine the lungs like a big tree with lots of branches, the main trunk is where your mouth is, leading to the trachea and then there is the first division when the tree divides into the right side and the left and then more and more branches and tiny little branches and then little leaves at the end where oxygen is finally exchanged (alveoli). of course the branches in this scenario are hollow with air passing through them.

so when part of that branch system gets blocked off, as you say maybe a "bronchus" is blocked off that usually one of the bigger branches, it means that the air you breathe in can no longer reach the little branches and leaves beyond. and without that air holding open the little branches, they sort of collapse in, like a deflated balloon.

so that part of the lung is no long able to exchange oxygen, it's not helping with your breathing, but as long as the other parts of the lung are still inflated and in good shape sometimes that loss is hardly noticeable. in part it depends on how big a branch is blocked.

these blocks have nothing to do with the blood supply, so that part of the lung does not die or have necrosis. and it has no obvious affect on the tumour either, it doesn't starve them or help them.

as Janine noted though, since the little branches often have "stuff" in them, bacteria, viruses, normal mucous sometimes and you can't cough that out because it's blocked off, it can lead to an infection in that area. because of that risk and the fact that the that part of the lung cannot contribute to getting oxygen for your blood, usually there are attempts to shrink the tumour down to open up that area of lung again.

i hope that makes sense!

double trouble
Reply To: Blockage of a lobe

Total, absolute, wonderful sense. So easy to visualize, which is exactly what I need. Thank you so much.
Debra

certain spring
Reply To: Blockage of a lobe

Agreed - excellent explanation from Dr Laskin.
Basically that's my problem - the tumour tends to block one of the main bronchi.
I also have an entire lobe closed off, which is generally OK except when running for a train.

Dr Laskin
Reply To: Blockage of a lobe

Happy that helped! and as "certain spring" knows from personal experience, sometimes it doesn't cause a lot of trouble. but it can, and it's good to speak to an expert about what options there are for addressing the blockage.

double trouble
Reply To: Blockage of a lobe

I don't know if my recent increase in shortness of breath is due to blockage, edema, both, or something new. I do know I will have a frank discussion about it with my oncologist, and will also go back to the pulmonary physician if that is appropriate. But that is about 3 weeks away. In the meantime it is so good to be able to have my questions addressed here by such a generous and expert group of physicians, and by peers as well.

I've said it before, without GRACE I'd have gone crazy by now.

Debra

certain spring
Reply To: Blockage of a lobe

My respiratory physician (pulmonologist I think in US terms) has always said that if there is increasing shortness of breath, they want to know about it.

aunttootsie001
Reply To: Blockage of a lobe

You mean to tell me they can't get you in any sooner? Even with the shortness of Breath? I'd call and see if they can move you up! Not like it isn't important! I'm thinking about you every Day and your in my prayers!