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Dealing with Lobectomy

gelc
Posts: 29
Joined: May 2001

Had my lower left lobe removed to cancer 8 weeks ago. I still feel some pain and some breathing difficulties. would llike to hear from others who have gone through this surgery.

sissylu1
Posts: 66
Joined: Jan 2011

Everyone's case is different..the VATS is a shorter recovery time..I had my surgery the traditional way..if I were you I would plan on being off for a month-if you have VATS that may be a reasonable time period to plan for, if you wind up going back to work sooner than that you could do so...I know how hard it is to plan with this kind of thing but plan for longer than expected so you don't have the anxiety of a deadline date to return to work and let others help you when you get home!!!!!!! Please keep us posted.

Attootsie
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2011

I am doing okay, still have some pain thinking it's mostly from the ribs. I do have some numbing pain if you know what I mean. Just had a medi Port inserted and it gives me some pain. Did you have to have Chemo? How much of your lung was removed?

Mikhail's picture
Mikhail
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2012

I had a left pneumonectomy and left and right lymph node dissection last month, complicated by a post op hemorrhage, infection, right lung collapse, the lungs both filled with blood during the hemorrag, I lost half my blood supply and coded. I went home, by myself six days later. The seventh day I walked 2 miles and it took three hours, and I was extremely short of breath. I also had seven incisions and a few drain holes and a throat wound. Not comfortable. Every day I walked more. Sunday I walked 9 miles in2 and a half hours. In 2 or 3 weeks I will go back to walking 10 miles round trip to my job where I walk and carry for 14 and a half hours a night. I don't have the money to stay out of work any longer. After the third week the pain got a lot less. I had a lot of nerve pain initially, pain where the drains had been, and pain underneath the front of my rib cage and flank, I gguess where I had retractors. I vacummed one week post op. Its a month and I am still not lifting really heavy things, but I am getting a lot of exercise. My oncologist said to exercise as much as I possibley can, and my thoracic surgeon said that a person can not walk enough.Every day I am getting less short of breath. Since my insurance company is owned by my crappy hospital, I did not get physical or pulmonary rehab, so I am doing it all on my own. Since my throat was cut twice to put in tubes externally, my voice was very hoarse. It sounded awful when I spoke. I let that rest till Sunday. I am maximizimg my breath contol with singing. Its very hard. I can not do the whole score of Phantom of the Opera yet nor half as well as I could do preop, but I am missing a few lungs. The right lung has stage 3 COPD, asbestosis. emphysema and chronic bronchitis. I tend to get pneumonia every three months even though I am active, because of fibrotic lungs. I also chose not to go home on oxygen. Because I have COPD, I can easily live in the upper 80's, low 90's in saturation. oxygen is a drug, and should be used only if necessary. most docs will not prescribe it till a pulse ox is below 87 percent. I've been as low as 85, but my body tolerates that. Its a lot to adjust to, bioth physically and mentally. I always was very athletic and competitive. I am only 49. I was diagnosed a year ago, by myself on an xray and had to fight to get a CAT scan, paid for out of pocket. They did not biopsy me for 7 more months, despite me calling twice a week. My hospital, who owns the insurance company, forbids us to see snyone but their doctors, and the town is small, so they are the only show in Central Texas. I am lucky to have made it through alive. But the more you ask your body to do, the more it will adapt, the more function you will have. Good luck.

barbebarb's picture
barbebarb
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

I am 53 and had L lobectomy, trying to walk farther e recovery is so slow. How are you feeling? I am walking everyyday but still get rib pain. I have to have 2nd surgery scheduled in other side but feeling now?d I hope m Barbuch better. Are you back at work? Barb

emy247
Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2013

Just got home last pm. removed all three lobes on rt through Vats. I had a very skilled surgeon. My question is what is a good recovery plan for walking. I have been up and walking quite a bit each day,but when should I start back with my treadmill. I am 61 and fairly healthy other than having the rt lung removed.

dennycee
Posts: 833
Joined: Mar 2011

I did not have a pneumonectomy so I can't really help.  May I suggest though that you start a new thread.  Due to the age of this one, many may not find it.  Maybe you will get more responses that way.  

welcome to the website 

emy247
Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2013

I just don't know how to start a new thread.

Xiaowang
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi,

 

my relative had a the same surgery as you did. After 30 years she is still there.

Xiaowang
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi,

 

my relative had a the same surgery as you did. After 30 years she is still there.

Xiaowang
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi,

 

my relative had a the same surgery as you did. After 30 years she is still there.

Xiaowang
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi,

 

my relative had a the same surgery as you did. After 30 years she is still there.

dyshepard's picture
dyshepard
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2016

I am about 1 month from right upper lobe removal.  cancer, but only there, so no further treatment except follow-ups in 6 months.  The pain is still terrible. I take vicoden to sleep but just ibuprofen during the day.   I still seem to need constant oxygen assistance.  Does anyone have any comments of how long I might need it?  I have had slight COPD for many years, but controlled just fine with just inhaler use once daily.   Also, the bra issue,  I can't imagine how I will ever be able to wear one again.  Besides the large surgical scar, my rib cage below the breast where drainage tube was is still so tender.  I wish I could build up my strength but don't seem to be able to walk any real distance.  I am 71 yrs old and had triple bypass with new aortic valve in 2013.    any comments would be appreciated.. 

eclc
Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2016

Dyshepard, I had a right pnuemonectomy back in 1997.  I can tell you that it takes a while to heal from the thorocotomy...there's just no short cut.   I'm a guy so I don't where a bra but can tell you that wearing one would freak me out since I'm all numb along my scar.  I think it would feel like it was always falling down (ok, time to reign in my feminine side Sealed)  As for the O2, I believe your need for O2 will go away naturally.  I lost my entire lung and did use O2 for a while after my pnuemonectomy but eventually i weaned off of it.  I went for may years without using it...now at age 53, I've started using it more.  One thing you may want to do is pick up a PulseOx meter.  You can pick them up at your local drug store for 15 bucks or so.  They're the thing that they put on the end of your pointer finger when you get your vitals taken in the doctors office.  This things measure the O2 in your blood.  Normally, your pulseox will be in the upper 90's.  This little tool can help you determine if you 'NEED' oxygen or if you 'THINK' you need oxygen.  If your oxygen drops down past 90% you are said to be "de-satting' (for desaturation) and oxygen is required.  If you're going through your day and your pulseox stays 94 and better, you may be able to leave the O2 at home.  Hope this helps and I'm happy to answer any more questions you may have.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1401
Joined: May 2009

Hello I had a vats surgery for the lower right lobe on 9-23-10, no other tx required it was stage 1a NOMO.  I didn't wear a bra until I went back to work a month later.  I was 51 years old.  It took at least 6 months to get my stamina back, and just to walk was difficult, but just kept moving.  The best I can tell you to do is walk around as much as possible because that will help build your strength back.  I know 3 days in bed takes 6 days to recover, so the more you get up and walk the better.  You should be doing breathing exercises as well to help regain strength in your lungs.  I didn't require oxygen, but do have mild copd.  I wish you well.  Lori.

wheezerone's picture
wheezerone
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2016

After reading all of these comments - I want to walk away while I can and not have surgery!  I think in this case ignorance is bleas.  I'm in phase 1 or 2 of lung cancer - upper left lobe.  I go to surgeon next week to see if he will do surgery or chemo. I was rooting for surgery but now I'm not sure.  After hearing how everyone still has pain and it was unbearable - I just don't know what to do.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1401
Joined: May 2009

Surgery is the best option as you get rid of the cancer.  I was stage 1A NOMO and didn't required chemo afterwards.  I had vats for my lower right lobe on 9-23-2010, and so far so good no recurrance.  The pain isn't forever and your life if worth doing the best possible for your treatment.  There are pain meds and therapy to get you back in shape.  If you may have the vats its less intrusive and guicker healing.  My dr does about 40 vats operations a year, so I felt confident with him.  I was only in the hospital for 3 days and back to work in a month.  Please know I was scared as well and I totally understand.  I wish you well and keep us posted.  You might want to post on the Inspire Health web site and there are many posters and lots of information about lung cancer.  Lori

Brandon.Summers's picture
Brandon.Summers
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2016

Hi Everyone, 

My name is Brandon and I had my upper rightlobe removed about 15 weeks ago and I have some pretty serious pain in the middle of chest, ribs, my back , and my incision area hurts and is numb.

The weird thing is that it's like I can literally feel excatly where they cut me and where they repaired my brochial tube and I am in some serious pain escpecially after working out. I am only 33 so my doctor tells me my road to recovery might be a little longer (up to 18 months) jsut because I was in shape and dont have the fat build up..

Has anyone else experienced this?? all my scans have been clear, well as of 6 weeks ago...

funshine's picture
funshine
Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 2016

Hi Brandon,

I had pain for many months after my lung resections. My doctor did several nerve blocking cuts to make the pain less intense, but once those nerves started growing back I felt the pain but the other pain had healed so when the blocked healed it wasnt as bad. I can only imagine how bad it would have hurt all at once if she didnt do the blockers.  I remembered feeling the side of my chest and my skin felt like a stranger. It didnt feel like my skin, it was numb. That slowly went away within 6 months

z's picture
z
Posts: 1401
Joined: May 2009

Hello, I see that no one has responded to your post, that happens a lot on here.  I had a vats lobectomy for the lower right lobe and it took a good 6 months to regain my stamina.  Give your self time to heal, if you had the standard lung surgery I think that will take more time that the vats to heal.  I have 2 4-inch scars where the video and equipment was put it to perform the vats.  Please sign up on the Inspire web site there are a lot of posters there that have been through it all.  I wish you well, Lori.

MichaelG
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2016

I had my right lung removed May 2014. I'm glad to be alive . Life suddenly has more urgency . It certainly is precious. I am the luckiest man I know.

The recovery and pain can be a bit trying but I wouldn't have wanted to miss it for any thing in the world. Party on fellow Survivors :  )))

TillieSOK's picture
TillieSOK
Posts: 252
Joined: Jul 2013

I had a left upper lobectomy and lymph nodes resection on 9/12/16.  I still have some pain and some shortness of breath, but not bad.  I'm walking 1.5 - 2.0 miles a day, either outside or on a treadmill.  I also climb two flights of stairs several times a day.  Periodically, I have to use an inhaler, but have been "satting" in the high 90's since coming home.  I, too, have the tugging sensations from my surgical incisions. I had hand assisted robotic surgery, so I only have 4 incisions, counting the drain tube one.  I try to take a nap every afternoon, simply because it makes me feel better.  I'm supposed to be sleeping at a 30 degree angle, but find I'm more comfy on my tummy. As far as bras go....I haven't worn one since I took the one off before my surgery.  My incisions are placed where it is going to be difficult to wear one until everything is completely healed and all the nerves have quit zinging me! 

This was a second primary cancer for me.  I was dx'd with Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma stage 3a in April, 2013, and now Adenocarcinoma of the lung.  I don't have a path report yet, so don't know what is in front of me, but I'll handle it whatever it is.  Good luck to all of you.  This, contrary to what was told to me, is NOT a  walk in the park....but it IS a walk somewhere. 

Peggy1951
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2016

I had the left lower lobe removed by vats on Oct 30 2015.  It was less than a stage 1a nsclc and was localized.  I did not have any radiation or chemo because it was so small and not showing up any place in my body.  I have had a very difficult time getting my strength back.  I am still not 50% back.  I get breathless and have no energy.  I am back at work and thankful that I am able to show up!!  I do pray about it everyday and ask God to heal me.  The doctors have put me thru the mill and the pulmonary doctor had me do a sniff test to discover that the king vegas (may not be right name) nerve that runs from your neck to your diaphraghm was damaged during the surgery.  If it heals it heals about 1" a month and is about 24" or more long.  So I guess if my is healing it will be 2 yrs before my diaphraghm works again!!  I am very grateful that I did not have to go thru additional treatment.   Let me know how you all are and if I can lend an ear I will!!

 

CaMike2u's picture
CaMike2u
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2017

I'm new here and thought I would just look into what others have went through. I am now 5 months post VATS Lobectomy with my right lower and middle lobes removed due to adenocarcinoma. It was an early detection subsequent to a scan of my bladder and kidneys from a couple of other issues.  I felt great until surgery and then all hell broke loose. A week after the initial lobectomy, I suffered from a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) with chest tubes inserted and then a week after that I had a lung blood clot with an IVC filter placed and then MRSA while in the hospital. I was having infusions twice a day of antibiotics for over a month until infection cleared. I started Chemo therapy every three weeks for five hours each session of Cisplatin and Alimta and looking forward to my last session next week. I was told that I have a 50% chance of the cancer returning.I was offered and opted to go into a Clinical Trial which the doc said they were having some great success with the new drug.

I was very active before surgery and started pushing myself to walk three times a day which I got up to a little over a mile each time. At first it was really tough with having to stop and collect my breath and then go again. I started on an illiptical machine a few weeks ago which is a wake up call for how out of shape I have become. I used to be able to go about 30 - 40 minutes and now I am lucky to go a whole 3 minutes before I am totally wasted.  I try and do some excercise every morning and it mostly consists of walking in figure 8's due to space in the house with the bad weather. I still have pain when I take a deep breath at the bottom right side of my ribs but hoping this will lessen in time. It helps to read that others are also having the same issues. I am not alone. 

egrdec17
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2017

One little thing:  this may sound silly, but it worked.  I had my right upper lobe removed on 12/12/16.  I was advised not to drive until I saw the doctor on the 30th of December.  But he didn't say I couldn't take a car ride or do anything away from the house.  I had been dying to see the animated movie "Sing".  I still was quite breathless and having rib and incision pain.  My best friend took me to see the movie 8 days after I came home from the hospital.  I laughed for 90 straight minutes because I loved the movie.  After that, I was tired, but I noticed that my breathing was easier and I definitely had less pain.

mayurp17
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2017

Hello, recently my mom (48) got diagonsed with Non small lung cancer Stage 2. She will go under surgery on 25.03.17. It would be open surgery (not VATS). I am very much worried thinking of is this surgery dangerous. Will she be cured at this stage and will she get back to her normal life.  Please give your inputs what you have been gone through. Thank you all.

Be always happy.

DaveToni2013
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2017

Is this still a active page? If so I'm a survivor I had to have a sleeve resection as well as a lobectomy. It's been 1 year cancer free!. I'm wondering from all these posts When does the dull nagging pain go away? I was the type to push my body and stopped the narcotics after 2 weeks! I hate taking any types of pills at all. But ibuprofen I pop those like they are m&m's, also I gained 40lbs. My oncologist asked if I was trying for a heart attack next.  so with that being said comes the stress. My doctor proscribed pills for "slight depression"if you will. Again I hate pills, when I took them it seemed to be worse and kept me up 1/2 The night. So any help on the help with pain ideas of how long, and the stress of it all, and getting back some motivation due to the nagging dulling pain. Thanks in advanc. Sorry so long!

Dave Taylor 

ClaCla
Posts: 90
Joined: Jul 2017

I had a lobectomy of lower left lobe Mon. Aug. 14, and am hoping to be sent home this Fri., Aug. 18.  So far, there's been much less discomfort than when I had a diaphragmatic hernia repair and when I had my knee replaced.  I already feel better without that diseased lobe.  They already verified that it was cancer, but I won't know the results of the full pathology report for a oouple more days.  Sorry that dosn't help with your question, Dave, but hopefully you'll hear from someone that knows.  God bless.

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