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In September 2012 my mother was diagnosed with having a tumor on the pons area of her brainstem. This is typically a childhood disorder, and basically a death notice for youth children, however adults seem to have a better prognosis. Anyway, in October 2012 went to Johns Hopkins Medical Center she had the tumor partially removed. It was diffused and therefore could not be completely resected. After the surgery she was on a ventilator for about a day and then she was removed from the ventilator and given oxygen via a mask. About 24-48 hours after the surgery my mom began creating excessive amounts of mucous which required frequent suctioning and being administered more oxygen. The doctors couldn't make sense of what was causing such excessive amounts of mucous. She was on an IV drip and after about three days one of the doctors said that they felt the IV was giving her more fluids to create more mucous and decided to take her off of the IV. She remained in critical care for several more days and the mucous eventually calmed down a lot. She remained at the rehabilitation center at Johns Hopkins for about a month before moving to another facility (insurance's decision#. She was making slow progress at recovery #coordination) and mid December 2012 they determined she was well enough to travel back to Florida and be admitted immediately into a nursing home/rehab. Within a week of arriving at the rehab she came down with pneumonia which they attributed to aspirating on small bits of food, and also the lack of movement. She went to hospital and they gave her antibiotics for the pneumonia. the mucous started back up but eventually was controlled. She returned to the rehab and within a week she came down with pneumonia again. She returned to the hospital and went through the same process as before. This time though she required more oxygen. Well she returned to the rehab after about a week, and then within another week she came down with pneumonia again. This time the mucous started again and it came back full throttle. She ended up in intensive care, then she ended up on a ventilator. They removed the ventilator a few times but she ended up having to go back on it because her oxygen levels would drop....and the mucous just wouldn't end. They decided to put her in a critical care type facility where they have an ICU unit. She's been there about 2 weeks now and the mucous just won't slow down. The doctor decided today that they would change her antibiotics. I don't know whether it will help. As far as I know the pneumonia has cleared up, it's just the excessive mucous. Nobody can make sense of this. I'm beginning to wonder whether the surgery has caused her body to produce this excessive mucous.
Please offer any advice on this matter.
Many thanks.

Hi MH, have they done any testing of the mucus?  They should do a culture to see if it contains bacteria, stomach acid, or any sort of viral particles.  I don't know her whole health history, does she smoke? Did she ever smoke? Does she have allergies?  Most of the cases of excessive mucus come from stomach acid and bronchial problems, copd, allergies.  So they need to rule out some problems.  What does the lung xray show? Does it show any sort of copd?  COPD patients usually have problems like this with excessive mucus. It sounds like it could be something like Bronchiectasis, which is a distortion of the airways and it will cause constant infections and pneumonia type health situations.  Usually they give antibiotics, cortisone type steriods, inhalers, ect.  They also should test her vitamin D usually low D is a symptom of this as well.  What causes it is bacterial, viral and environmental.  They need to run tests on the mucus itself to be sure there is no bacterial or viral cause, then really look at those xrays to see if COPD is a problem, maybe even run allergy tests to see if the mucus is some sort of allergy related problem, look at acid reflux (GERD), and also since you said they thought there was aspiration of food, look at her throat and digestive system to be sure the tube they put in there didn't damage something.  Let me know what happens and what they find.  I'll keep her in my thoughts and prayers.  Tina

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Tina Budde


I can help on all aspects of the condition, treatment, support. I cannot diagnose but only give my personal expertise, and refer you to others who can help. I am in touch with doctors, therapists, and professionals on a regular basis. I can help with disability issues pertaining to lymphedema or cancer.


15 year cancer survivor, Lymphland International Lymphedema Online (LILO)Support group owner, Owner of website, former writer for Butterfly Gazette, Editor for ELymphNotes online lymphedema magazine, patient and advocate for 16 years, Yahoo answers advanced level answerer.

Lymphland Support Group Owner, website owner, American Society of Lymphology member, ELymphNotes forums coordinator; writer; and editor; member of many online support groups. Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Grief Counselor, former bank loan rep, pharmacy ass't

ELymphNotes Lymphedema Magazine, Butterfly Gazette, many other health oriented websites and newspapers.

college graduate, volunteer in pet loss grief counselling.

Awards and Honors
Yahoo groups best of health and wellness 2007 award, World's best 2008 nominee, HonCode acceptance.

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