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Mom had the most barbarick thing done today...

sleepless in jersey
Posts: 185
Joined: Feb 2011

Mom got admitted this morning beacuse of RT Lung had a liter and a half of fluid sched. for the talc procedure on late Mon., however Lung surgeon said the fluid has to be removed before we could do the surg. so he numbed up the RT area and proceeded to put a drain in her lung and stitch it up with this drain in there to be suctioned til mon.
Dad said it was one of the most awful things you would want to experience watching Mom give out a loud scream and the tears that were to follow why???
Is this really necessary without a sedation or anything?

When doc left the nurse came in and gave her something in her port, she got real dizzy and fell asleep and now on percocet every 4hrs til monday.

Is this proceedure typical somebody please help me understand this.
The surgeon also said mind you that when the surg. is done she is still going to need her oxygen remember she has LUNG CANCER.

The nurse said she is going to do so much better.

Doc says the tumors are not allowing the lungs to drain there blocking it thats why she is filling up.

Coud somebody shed some light on this for me please im just so worried about Mom and what to expect next.
I use to talk to Deb about this because she had it done, I hope she is shinning a light over the top of us :)

Thanks your input.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

Sleepless, the drains themselves are standard tools for removing fluid, at least in my personal experience.

When I had my lobectomy, I woke with two such drains in my right side (lower right lobectomy). Of course, I had the good fortunate to be on anesthesia at the time they were inserted, due to the biopsy and subsequent lobectomy. When they had to treat a staph infection within a few days (MSSA), I woke with yet another drain, for a total of three, but again, had the good fortune to be under when it was inserted.

My doc would occasionally remove sutures to move the drains and then re-apply sutures and this occured while I was awake. So too did the eventual removal of each of the three tubes , on separate days: I was awake and alert each time. If there was pain it was rather insignificant in my case (I was on pain meds too) but I can't imagine having them inserted without being in etherland, to be honest, as I am allergic to pain.

So, while the drain itself should come as no surprise, I do not blame you or dad for your concern and even anger about the method of insertion. On the other hand, if this was the method used on your mom, I would presume it is an accepted practice and that others will offer their experiences in that regard.

Take care,


sleepless in jersey
Posts: 185
Joined: Feb 2011

Yes it is and was no suprise for the drains as it was her 2nd time around. First time drains were removed labor day wknd. When bilateral drains were inserted she was under, but when then were removed by the nurse practioner they gave her pain med and waited a bit yea she felt it, but it definetly took the edge off.
So to come back and just get a topical local WOW words as I have seen cant express what that must be like.
The Onc even said you dont have to do that again ask for something before they do that "Mom's like nobody offered and I didn't think of it". I tell ya its always a learning experience with everything she has gone through since Jan.

Mom's so so scared having 2nd pleaurocentesis sometime today for whatever reason didn't make the OR board lastnight. 1st time didn't go so well had to be given blood, put in ICU and the wrong lung was done yup crazy (so we want to put a marker on her side and say not this one).
When surgeon came and had seen she was still draining, he said your still draining so Moms a bit anxious now. Has somewhere about 1 1/2liter to maybe a bit more fluid draining since Fri.
Thank you all for your posts and prayers.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

I see that you are all retaining at least a modicum of humor through this ordeal, re the 'marker' stating Not This Side :).

Keep the good attitude, all of you!

Hope and Humor!

Take care,


Posts: 183
Joined: Apr 2011

I am so sorry your mother is going thru this! Geeeesh. I did have one drain put in while awake....it was very painful too. Thankfully I only had to have it in for about 36 hours. All the others one I have had were put in while I was in surgery. Although they did take them out while I was awake...alittle uncomfortable but felt so good to get them out. I feel for your mother. The percocet will definitely help with any discomfort she is having. Positive thoughts and prayers coming your way. Cheryl

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2011

It sounds as though your wife had the same procedure that I had done twice in my right lung. I had collapsed my lung on 2 different occasions and aside from a topical numbing I felt every painful second.

The reason I was given for not being sedated was due to the fact that the tube they were pushing into my cavity could go too far and puncture the other side of my lung. Each time the other end of my tube was attached to a pleurovac or something similar in name where liquid was collected.

Taking it out the first time the doctor went very slow and it was uncomfortable. The second time the doctor gave me a choice of fast or slow and I chose fast which was a mistake! It was an excruciating pain to the point I let out a loud scream that had people running to my aide.

I'm sorry she had to endure it.


Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I remember having my first chest tube out. I had been a breast cancer patient several years earlier and getting that tube out felt like little butterfly wings fluttering inside my chest. May I state that getting a chest tube out is not quite the same experience!!! A student under my doctor was in charge of pulling my tube out and I was most obviously his first patient. It took two pulls and it was painful throughout both. I was expecting butterfly wings and instead felt like my guts were being ripped out sans anesthesia! The doctor told him next time to be more assertive and get the tube out quickly---kind of like ripping off a bandaid so it won't hurt so long. My second chest tube didn't hurt at all. I was braced in the bed for that one, but no pain. Unfortunately that's not good either. I still haven't gotten feeling back in that part of my body and that was in 2006. Apparently the surgeon cut the nerve in that area that helps the abdominal muscles work as well as carry pain messages. That affects my ability to sit up, exercise, tie my right shoe every morning, put on my pants, and such. Maybe he cut more than one nerve. In any case, even though your experience was painful, that means your nerves work better than mine. Hang on to that when nightmares re-occur as they do sometimes after a bad experience. I wish that doctors could make all things painless, but not at the expense of mobility and function for the future.

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