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Recovery period

Thomson
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2010

My husband had his left lung (pneumoectomy) removed on 20th April 10 and at the same time had a tumor removed from his pulmonary artery ( which was then restructed) .

Can anyone give me a rough idea of how long the recovery period is ? Right now my husband is suffering severe tiredness,weakness, slight depression, constipation and has a low appetite. However he does have his pain under control.

Trisha.

catcon49's picture
catcon49
Posts: 398
Joined: Aug 2008

I think recover depends on age type of surgery and how much lung was lost. I lost my lower right lobe. The surgery was VATS not the worse surgery Ive ever had but I suffered with constipation. He needs to keep moving. Walking as much as he can everyday.

Good luck and God bless.

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

Both the anesthesia and the oral pain meds cause constipation. Doctors and nurses don't seem to see that as such a big issue, but I think that was the worst nightmare I remember from having surgery. Unfortunately, I seem to have it every time I have surgery.

There are lots of treatment plans for constipation. Lots of water and walking work for mild cases. Milk of Magnesia works on medium problems. Sodium Citrate worked for me right after surgery, though the nurses wanted me right by the facilities after they gave it to me. That's usually saved up for very difficult cases I guess, but I didn't want leave the hospital until everything was working and they wanted me out! Fortunately, we all got what we needed in the end.

There is a recipe the breast cancer board just published for "power pudding" that they swore worked wonders as well. It had lots of cooked prunes in it. Whole grains, oatmeal or Fiber One cereals with lots of liquids so you don't create a blockage work eventually too. But as long as you are on pain meds, it will be an issue.

Prayers_R_amazi...
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2010

My husband had a lobectomy (removal of right middle and lower lung) by the Thoracotomy method (very large incision to the chest wall) and the chest was entered through the bed of 5th rib on 12/22/09. He wasn't so fortunate to have the VATS, which the recovery is suppose to be much quicker.

He was in ICU for 6 days / nights and step-down for 2 days. The chest tubes remained in until the last day (couple of hours before discharge and of course another chest x-ray).
He didn't return to work until middle of March. He stayed in pain for awhile and continues to have numbness (which can take a good while before the feeling comes back).

When he talks you can hear the difference in his breathing. He still hasn't regained all of his strength and has to stop and rest often when doing outside chores / work. Thank the Lord for our two boys 18 and 16.

So far he has had two episodes where a chest x-ray has been ordered b/c of his coughing, SOB (shortness of breath) and both times the results = fluid. It seems like when he over exerts himself, too much with baseball (he helps to coach a team) these symptoms begin. The doctor said: this is something he will probably deal with the rest of his life off/on.

I believe once his upper lobe realizes it needs to compensate for the loss of the middle and lower, it will all come together. It's only been 5 months since the surgery and this was a MAJOR surgery, so I totally believe there is more healing to come. They say it takes a woman a full year to recover after having a child - well to be there with my hubby the entire hospital stay (including ICU 24/7) I give God all the glory and praise for all he has done.

We also dealt with the constipation. Pain medications,not moving (immobile) not eating or drinking enough liquids = CONSTIPATION. So I gave him a stool softener in the A.M./P.M., while he was on pain medications and when he stopped taking pain meds. until he was regulated.

Do make sure that whatever exercise type he is doing, that it has been approved by the pulmonologist or surgeon.

So in short - it is going to take time, so be patient, pray and be there for him.
My hubby just finished his chemo in April, he did a 4 cycle regimen and 4/30/10 per his chest x-ray and scan - Cancer Free!

I didn't mean to ramble on but my hubby is here b/c God has his hands on him and our family.

Hopefully some of this helped.

God Bless

Thomson
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2010

Though tiredness and consitpation are major problems your replies have helped so much and have helped put our minds at ease. However, my husband's pulse rate is high and has been so since leaving the hospital and is now concerning us. Any suggestions ?

Prayers_R_amazi...
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2010

And I forgot.
Depression is normal, so right away I had our FNP talk with hubby b/c even though I am a nurse sometimes it's better to come from someone else.

Hubby was snappy, sad, depressed (I think being home all alone day in and day out) and getting short but we all took it with a grain of salt b/c I knew he didn't mean to. He is now on Lexapro 10mg daily and has been since middles January and what a difference it has made.

This might be something to talk to the Doctor about?

Thomson
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so, so much for your reply. Though my husband has been fighting cancer for three years this is the first time that I have acutally visited and participated on a website.

All replies have helped as they have made us realise that we are expecting too much too soon.

Thank you

Prayers_R_amazi...
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2010

My husbands blood pressure and pulse rate both stayed elevated for awhile. I had to go back to work, so I bought him a BP monitor to check throughout the day. Anytime there has been a major change to the body - surgery, infection, fever and even excitement can cause vital signs to change, so this can be expected. If this continues then I would contact his PCP and let them know of your concerns.
God Bless

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