Woman’s intestines, spleen moved into left lung after violent cough
A multi-disciplinary team of doctors saved the life of a 33-year-old expat after she faced a severe post-Covid complication.
Fajrul Farveen Mohamed started having chest pain and difficulty breathing in March, two months after she tested positive for Covid-19 in January. However, most doctors she consulted chalked up her troubles up to residual symptoms, assuring her it would clear up soon.
“It was becoming miserable, and we were undergoing emotional turmoil… nobody could offer a cure or a permanent solution to my problems,” Mohamed said.
However, doctors at Aster Hospital Al Qusais “found some abnormalities,” referring her to Dr Abdul Rehman, a general specialist and laparoscopic surgeon.
Mohamed underwent a CT scan, which revealed she had a diaphragmatic hernia.
“The doctor explained that there was an opening in my diaphragm. The abdominal organs had blocked my left lung by moving into the chest cavity through this opening,” she said.
Diaphragmatic hernias are usually a congenital disease; babies born with it undergo a repair procedure immediately. In a healthy person, the complication can occur due to any damage to the diaphragm following an accident. Mohamed had no history of an injury in the past and in her case, the congenital issue did not stand.
“It could be due to a violent cough during her Covid days. Coughing rarely causes this condition, but there are studies suggesting the possibilities. With no other reasons, we assume it is due to Covid,” said Dr Abdul Rehman.
Moahmed’s case was a complicated one, and her intestines, omentum, and spleen had completely obstructed her left lung.
“After taking advice from pulmonologist Dr Mohammed Shafeeq, specialist pulmonology at Aster Hospital, Qusais, on Farveen’s condition, we examined her and confirmed that she was fit to undergo the procedure,” said Dr Abdul Rehman.
During the laparoscopic diaphragmatic hernia surgery, doctors cleared the obstruction and closed the opening in her diaphragm using mesh.
Post the surgery, Mohamed said she did not experience any difficulties. She was discharged three days after the procedure; she was advised to rest for three weeks, after which she can live her life as usual.
“I do not feel shortness of breath or pain in the chest anymore. After a long time, my husband and I are having peaceful days in our life,” she said.
Mohamed and her husband also say they are thankful to the doctors and nurses at Aster Hospital.
“They gave us confidence and treated us like family,” she said.