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Has anyone had a upper right lung lobectomy and a upper left lung lobectomy

Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2009

I had my upper right lobe removed three years ago due to a cancerous tumor and I recovered well and their have been no traces of cancer. During my surgery three years ago the surgeon found a small mass on my upper left lung. I have been monitored every six months to see if this mass has grown. My last CT Scan in Sept. of this year shows it has grown and my surgeon wants to remove my upper left lobe as a precaution. I don't know what to do. I am afraid my quality of life will diminish as I will be left with only one lung. Has anyone had to deal with this before? Your thoughts are very appreciated. I am ancious and torn between what I should do.

Posts: 21
Joined: Oct 2009

If I read your post correctly, you had the upper RIGHT lobe removed 3 years ago and the question is removal of the upper LEFT lobe. There are some components of confusion in your post that make it difficult to fully appreciate. During surgery on the right side, the surgeon would not be likely to have any view or contact with the left lung. You also mentioned the lesion in your left being a "small mass". That raises concerns just by itself. In general, if there is reason to be concerned for a malignancy, a lobectomy would be warranted.

However, some things to be considered:

1. what are your lung functions and what are the predicted lung functions after the LEFT lobectomy?
2. What is your over all health
3. What additional work-up has been performed to determine if this would be a lobectomy for cure
4. is there a role for a biopsy?
5. What has increased the concern now after watchful waiting to tip the recommendation to surgery?

Currently, there are new technologies available that can reach more difficult spots/nodules and biopsy. You could more then likely obtain a biopsy from a true "mass". You should explore that these possibilities. If you have the lobectomy, you will not be left with only one lung. You will have 2 ot 3 lobes on the right and 1 out 2 lobes on the left.

regards and best wishes,

Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2009

I had a biopsy this past Wednesday and I got the results today. It is malignant and I will be taking a pulminary function test next week. My surgeon is recommending surgery to remove the upper left lobe. Yes, you are right I will have 2 lobes on the right and i lobe on the left. I was told that with what will be left it would equal to having one lung. Thanks for writing. I am asking again has anyone had lobes removed from both lungs?

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I have a kind of cancer that can appear on either side though it usually confines itself to the lungs. On the right I'm missing the middle lobe. My surgeon told me the same things as yours: if I need to, I can also have similar surgery on the left if another spot shows up there. So far, the left side is doing okay, though they are monitoring a spot on the upper right lung. The doctors told me they absolutely won't leave me with less than 3 lobes total (apparently the power of one lung). While surgery is probably the best option, they won't even remove that much if I don't have enough lung power. If I end up needing but not qualifying for surgery, chemo or targetted radiation, or the dye and laser options are still possibilities. Good luck on your tests!

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2010

I’m 63: I had a right upper lobectomy May 2007, then left lower lobectomy September 2007
If you stood next to me in the aerobics class you would never know.

On leaving the hospital I was told to do 3x15 minutes exercise per day, every day
just sufficient to get slightly out of breath. I do 45 minutes ‘step’ aerobics at home almost every day, or I go to the gym and do an aerobics class, or swim (one mile if I’m in the mood – but usually only half), or pilates.

I’m not trying to show off here, I just want to let you know that it didn't take long (six months) to get back (almost) to where I was.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

The statement "if there is reason to be concerned for a malignancy, a lobectomy would be warranted" seems unreasonable to me, although it may just be the way I am reading it, OS. It reads to me as though if there is a suspicion that there is malignancy (i.e., 'concern') then the lobectomy is called for, and I DO find this unwarranted, faulty.

If you mean that there is concern BECAUSE there is a malignancy, then I might concur, depending on some other circumstances and information as well, but I do not read it that way.

Your faithful editor (:)),


Posts: 89
Joined: Dec 2009

I have nursed many patients who had a whole lung taken out (pneumonectomy) and they did ok after recovery from surgery. You should in a much better position that them if you had 2/3 lobes on R and 1/2 lobes on L remaining.

brokenheartfix's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 2010

how does it go I am to start chemo on the 4th of feb and scared to death. I have had counostrophy then lymph nodes removed luckliy both came back negative. I then had upper lobe of left lung removed along with 3 ribs and the tumer of 8 centemeters was removed 26 days ago. Still in alot of pain from surgery. I am worried about chemo treatments i hear all kinds of stories about them. I seem to get no one to just give it all to me straight. I have tried to get into the chat room all day today and been unable to get in. So if you don't mind tell me how it went and what i am to expect. I lost 25lbs already and hear I will loose alot more during chemo there is not alot left to loose lol. Thanks for your time and if i may get a little more of your time to explain what to expect from the chemo treatments. The name of the cancer that was removed isepidermoid carcinoma of lung Thanks Harold Jones My email is brokenheart@chesnet.net

How log does it take before I can get a good nighs sleep without pain. I know 26 days is not a great deal of time since the surgery. Have been told by others the most of the pain is the removal of the three ribs. Thanks for your time.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

With respect to the chatroom, Harold, if you have not managed to get on yet, try downloading the latest version of Java to your computer (search for Java and select the first one with www.sun in the title).

That is not your principle interest, of course.

It is true, Harold, that for many folks the chemo is the worst of it. When I had cisplatin following surgery for head/neck cancer, I got sicker than the sickest dog on the planet. Think fetal position. And that was WITH a number of anti-nausea medicines (fenergin, compazine, et al).

And when I was going in for my lobectomy, I was warned by people on this very site that the following chemo, taxol and carboplatin, would make me even sicker.

They did not bother me at all.

It is you, Harold. It is how the chemicals deal with you, and how you deal with the chemicals.

The best advice I can give is to stay WAY hydrated (and don't even think about so-called sports drinks for that: OncoMan told me that the most popular sports drinks drain elements from your body; he suggested seltzer water, of all things).

As for the ribs, I was lucky enough to get a VATS procedure, Harold, so they didn't have to break any ribs. Still, I had three tubes stuck through my ribs while I was in (which ended up being almost a month). My care team gave me a C-shaped pillow that I used to keep from rolling over at night, and this helped immensely with sleep, both in the hospital and after. (The pillow was made by cancer care groups, and was NOT a medical sort of item.)

Right now, it reads as though you are rather frustrated. Your mind tells you that you need to give it time, but like most of us your heart is telling you it is time to move on.

Most people in here understand that, most people in here respect that. I know I do.

But most people who have been in this site for any length of time have learned to tolerate patience, even if we don't want to.

Hang in there, Harold. It DOES get better.

Take care,


Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2009

I also had that combination, and had no problems at all. I think it depends on what meds you get and what combination the the taxol and carboplatin was easy for me not one sick day just tired once in a while

Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2010

Sorry to hear of your need for chemo. I had my upper right lobe removed in March 2009. I then when through chemo that involved Cisplatin and Taxotere. I'm not going to lie about anything to spare your feelings. My first treatment sucked bad. While you are sitting in the chair with the IV in your arm it's not bad. You feel a little wired but nothing big. On the drive home you still feel a little wired but again, nothing big. My first chemo took about 5 hours because I was allergic to one of the drugs they normally give (which scared me). The bad part is the first night. I'm sure everyone is different but I was sicker than I've ever been in my life and the sickness continued for about 5 days. Be sure and take the anti-nausea drugs they prescribe. Things get better after the 5th day (slowly), but of course you feel very tired. I actually gained weight during chemo. I had a thing for pizza and chocolate?? The hair loss is depressing but mine grew back thicker then it ever was before and actually became darker. Anyways, my chemo treatments were about 6 weeks apart. About the 3rd week after each treatment I would begin to feel "normal" but then I knew another treatment was coming up and it was hard to make myself show up for them. The short story is the 1st chemo was very bad. The 2nd and 3rd weren't that bad, and the 4th sucked but nothing was as bad as the 1st. Each one seems to take a little bit out of you. I still have neuropathy in the soles of my feet, but I consider it an annoyance that hopefully will go away.

I would recommend using the treadmill a few weeks after your last chemo so you can get back in shape. It's been one year and I do 2 miles at 3.8 mph three times a week, which is what I did before I lost the upper right lobe (which is the biggest lobe). I also do 16 mile bicycle rides and this year I should be in good enough shape to do a 30 mile ride and I will be 49 years old in March.

Good luck and I wish you the best.

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