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Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2010

Anyone had lung surgery ,either lobe or wedge? I am curious about the recovery and how you felt afterwards. My dad is getting ready to go through it and just want to hear from someone that has been throught it.

Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2010

My husband had surgery last thursday @ Cornell w/Dr. Altorki. He is 63. Removed lower and middle lobe on right side. Could not do it laproscopicly, so had to make incision. He is fine and waiting for them to take out the chest tube. He was given an epidural for pain mgmt, but has not had to press the button for extra med since surgery. So he has been pain free. Expect tube out tomorrow and then will start talking about release date.
Hope this helps. Good luck
Jo Carol

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

I'm not going to lie to you, it's no cakewalk. Do not be shy about asking for pain meds, especially when the chest tubes are still in. Once those were removed I felt much better. I also had the epidural but didn't really need it after the chest tubes came out. I did take pain meds for at least a month after surgery.

At first he will be very tired just walking across the house but it will improve with time. When he gets home he should be as active as possible. It's also very important to do the breathing exercises with the spirometer. It will be very uncomfortable at first but it must be done. Coughing is important as well, as he must keep mucus out of the lung.

Good luck.

Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2010

Thanks for all your reports. It just helps to hear from someone that has been through it. We scheduled the surgery today for May 18. We are waiting until then by our request. My daughter is graduation high school and he wants to be there for that. I will keep you all posted and I am sure that I will have more questions.

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2010

I had upper lobe of my right lung removed in November 2008 at Duke. It is painful and my recovery took about six months. I lost my appetite and took a while to get it back also. I also had to take chemo after about 3 months into my recovery but I made it and so will your Dad.
I will keep you and your Dad in my prayers.

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

You did not say what kind of surgery your dad is exploring. I had both a VATS and a modified VATS procedure on my right lung about two weeks apart. The VATS procedure is like laproscopic surgery. It has to be done by someone skilled in the procedure, but it is great when you can find such a specialist. It reduces your recovery time and pain by lots. I was actually jogging short distances before my second operation. I had three incisions that could each be covered by a bandaid. The second time around (the doctor thought I had stage 4 breast cancer but it turned out to be stage 1 lung cancer so they went back in to remove more lung tissue...long story!), my biggest incision was about 4.5 inches and I had a longer recovery time. I was back to work in a month or so and felt more or less "normal" after about four or five months. Conventional surgery entails a bigger incision and therefore a longer recovery time than I had.It works too, it just takes longer to get back on your feet and to feel normal when you get more stitches. So if you can find a VATS specialist, it is worth the time and trouble to consult with them.

Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2010

Cabbott. They are hoping to be able to do VATS. He has already had radiationa and chemo and the have shrunk it from 6cm to 1.8cm. The only reason that he won't be able to do the VATS is if there is to much scar tissue and won't know that until he get in there. We are hoping for the VATS. He does them all the time. My dad is 75 and is in excellent health besides the cancer so hopefull he will tolerate ok. Thanks for all the help. Nothing like talking to someone that has been through it.

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