Paralysis of the diaphragm is an unusual problem in which a patient will be found to have an elevation of one side of their diaphragm and it will not move normally to assist with breathing. There can be congenital causes for this problem, but more commonly in adults it is related to an injury to the nerve that controls the diaphragm - the phrenic nerve. Most healthy adults with isolated diaphragmatic paralysis do not have symptoms and generally need no further treatment.
Occasionally, if a patient has significant symptoms, a diaphragmatic plication can be performed to help restore the diaphragm to a more normal contour and location. The thoracic surgeons at St. Luke's will be able to assess your need for an operative procedure.