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pneumonectomy-and what to expect afterwards?!

Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2010

My father is 63 and on May 25th had a full pneumonectomy. We were told about some possible side effects that they would be watching out for. Pneumonia and any infections. Well he did real well when he was in and was discharged six days later. About a week later he was back in the er, because he was really sick, vomiting involuntarily. It turned out the the internal stitches on the stump, had come loose and fluid was siphoning thru it and into the right lung. Giving him an infection where the left lung was and pneumonia in the right lung. He was in the hospital for 13 days that time. Two weeks later I had him admitted because he was really winded but his O2 level was good so we had find out why he was not feeling well and looking very pale. We found out that he had fluid around the lining of his heart, and they had to extract it, 500cc's to be exact. After that was done, he was starting to feel better. He went in the next week for an appointment with his new cardiologist(he never needed one before til after the surgery),they did an echocardiogram, and everything seemed ok. Well that week after the appt, his appetite decreased greatly and by Saturday evening, he had a fever(100.4). He took two acetametaphen and it would go down to 99. It continued through the next day, Sunday. Fever and hardly eating anything and he just did not feel well at all. He had weighed himself and he had lost 14lbs in less than 7 days. I conferred with my boyfriend, who is a trained paramedic and he said to get him to the hospital. So off I dragged him off to the er. First thing that came up funny was that his O2 level was 89. The nurse asked what it usually is for him, and I advised it is usually about 93/94. So the first thing they did was put him on oxygen. And after a few x-rays, it looked like he had pneumonia....again! So he is back in the hospital and was started on 2 different antibiotics and then moved to 4 different ones and now is back down to 2. Now I should add that my dad was diagnosed in December with lung cancer, non small cell. He did go through 8 weeks of chemo and radiation. I am just wondering if anyone else has seen this course of events. I am beginning to wonder if he is going to get chronic pneumonia.

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2010


I'm sorry to hear about your dad. Is he getting any better?
I wish I had some answers for you, but actually I'm hoping that you
can help me. My mom was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer and
August 31st she will be getting her entire right lung removed. Do you have
any advice that you can share with me? What should I expect, how can
I make her comfortable. I will be having her live in my home so that I can take care of her.

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi, there....my mother just had a pneumonectomy (right lung) a week ago in Germany (she lives there.) She is 77. She is pretty weak right now, but physically the doctors say she is doing well after the surgery for a woman her age. She does struggle emotionally and psychologically with what has happened, and gets panicked very easily as adapting to just one lung is difficult! We are learning more as we go. Mom is eating pretty well, but she is having trouble speaking for long periods of time as she is learning how to adjust her breathing. But yesterday she made four short phone calls. Amazing! She is determined to get better, but she will need rehab. That will be about 3-4 weeks long. She has daily breathing exercises, and the physical therapy should be very helpful as well once she gets into rehab. This is a MAJOR surgery. Mom had a smaller incision than we thought, and they did not have to break any ribs or anything....they went in between. That should help her recovery. Well, don't know if this helps you or not. We are very new to lung cancer, but we know all about breast cancer as Mom conquered that as well four years ago. Mom is still in the hospital recovering, but could be released early next week. Mom also had NSCLC like yours. The doctors think they got it all out, though. Still awaiting the final pathology report. How old is your mother?

Best wishes....

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