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Question Impact of Partial Lung Removal on Freediving Capability

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

bumpin8er

New Member
Jun 29, 2021
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Hey all. I am extremely new to this. I just became interested in freediving and have been thinking about taking a course here in Orlando. But before investing I was curious if anyone had any insight as to how my limited lung capacity might impact my ability to freedive, and my enjoyment of it.

In 2013 I had the upper lobe of my right lung extricated (roughly 40% of the lung) in order to remove a carcinoid tumor. I have had a full recovery since then, and no signs of cancer elsewhere (very thankful). I am aware that my body has accommodated the absence of lung tissue (heart shifting toward center, diaphragm shifting up, etc.), but within a few months of surgery I was able to return to my normal level of physical activity without noticing any differences (I was 22 at the time of my surgery). The doctor at the time told me that I would be able to exercise to the degree I had before and wouldn't notice any significant limitations, and this has proved true.

I understand that freediving involves the diaphragm, and can even involve lung collapse after certain depths. I'm aware I may have scar tissue that could impact that. I'm going to speak to my doctor about it, but was just wondering if anyone had any experience with this or any thoughts about how this might affect me?

Perhaps should also mentioned that about a month after surgery my lung sprung a small leak where the bronchus had been stapled, but this cleared with the insertion of a small catheter that was removed after a couple days, and doctor determined that everything had healed and closed up.

Thanks in advance for your help!!
 

7BDiver

Active Member
Sep 5, 2019
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It would be wise to consult your doctor about the resilience of your lung structure to ensure you don't cause damage, would assume general exercise with no problem is a good indication. You should not worry so much about lung collapse unless you have ambition to reach significant depths and blood shift is not effective. Functional reserve capacity diving will give you a good idea what is possible even with limited lung capacity.
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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Thought about this one for a while. 78diver gives good advice. The thing to remember is NOBODY knows for sure how your lungs will react to deceasing pressure. Take it slow.

IMHO, for whatever that is worth, you should be fine to about 50-60 ft, full lung, assuming no restrictions or problematic scaring in your lungs(not necessarily good assumptions.) I know a diver who had restrictions inside his lungs that produced squeeze problems at ridiculously shallow depths. Below 60, go real slow. FRC can give you a hint of what its like below 60, but I'd go extra slow on that. In FRC. squeeze problems can sneak up on you very fast. Around 100 you will probably run into equalization problems, go extra slow.

Good luck in your journey and keep us posted. I'm very curious about what you find.
 

bumpin8er

New Member
Jun 29, 2021
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Wow. Even just receiving these thoughts has encouraged me to look more into it and give it an actual try. Feeling pretty loved by this community already, after just barely dipping a toe in. I'll keep you posted on how things go, though it may be a while before anything develops. Thanks a lot for you thoughtfulness and insight!
 

Hypercubeh2o

New Member
Apr 24, 2021
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If you can see a doctor that specializes in diving or find one that understands pressure changes and sports. A general practitioner may not know. Good luck and keep us posted!
 
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Reactions: Yellsback

mad mat

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2006
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Don’t bother about seeing a doctor. You are just like everyone else assuming you are fully healed. Listen to your body. You will probably just have a slight disadvantage to someone of a similar physic to yourself. Give it a go and have a dive buddy. The body is an amazing piece of meat that is good at adaption.
 

Hypercubeh2o

New Member
Apr 24, 2021
9
1
3
42
Don’t bother about seeing a doctor. You are just like everyone else assuming you are fully healed. Listen to your body. You will probably just have a slight disadvantage to someone of a similar physic to yourself. Give it a go and have a dive buddy. The body is an amazing piece of meat that is good at adaption.
Well, he should see one to be safe plus he may need a doctor to sign off on medical records. I teach SSI and anything regarding medical must be signed off by a doctor.
 

Yellsback

Active Member
Jan 13, 2015
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Previous members have already given you great advice as far as taking it slow, and consulting a physician that understands free-diving.
I would also remind you that you are interested in this sport for FUN, you’re not trying to make a living at it, so relax and enjoy. I am far from an excellent diver, but I enjoy every dive and do what I can to improve my skills. You will get a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of this sport by just giving it a go. No need to worry if you can compete or keep up with those who do. Time is fleeting and life is way too short - give it a go!!
Best of luck and enjoy yourself.
 
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