ZocdocAnswersDo i have to have a chest x-ray?

Question

Do i have to have a chest x-ray?

I was anesthetized for some surgery on my nose and afterwards they told me I had fluid in my lungs. They said I should get a chest x-ray from my normal doctor. It's been two days and my lungs feel okay. Do I really need the chest x-ray? Would the fluid have cleared up okay on its own?

Answer

It's very good to hear that you are feeling better after your surgery and complications. As you now know, surgery can often cause unexpected complications and it is very important to have good and consistent follow up both with your surgeon as well as your primary doctor to make sure that you return to your normal baseline health. In the situation you describe, it would still be a good idea to get the chest x-ray simply because that is the only way to know for sure that you are healing properly. Fluid in or around the lungs can be a sign of many different things, including problems with the heart, lungs, or immune system. Sine you are feeling well and don't have any symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain, you are probably correct that the chest x-ray won't show any concerning findings. However, it is very possible for you to have significant findings on imaging even if you feel well, and it is important to continue with the follow-up plan when you have a significant event such as surgery. You don't want a complication to jeopardize your future health. If you have any further questions about your follow-up, you should definitely discuss that with your physician.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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