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Fluid Buildup in the Chest Following Liver Donor Surgery

The liver is located just below a muscle that separates the abdomen from the chest and lungs. This muscle is called "the diaphragm." Because the liver is so close to the chest and lungs, the stress of liver donation surgery sometimes makes the chest fill with fluid. This usually happens slowly over 4 to 5 days.
 
Extra fluid in the chest space can put pressure on the lungs, making it hard to breathe. If this happens, a drainage tube may be necessary to clear the fluid from your chest. About 5 in 100 liver donors will need to have this procedure performed.
 
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