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Rib Bone Moving After Thoracotomy?

Posts: 1190
Joined: Dec 2010

Hi all. I am here from the breast cancer boards. I had a thoractomy on the left side to remove a hypersensitivity pneumonitis mass that was the size of a plum in the lower left lung. I had a thoracotomy with a lung resection on 7/31/13/

Since I got home from the hospital, I have been feeling a "flapping" feeling when I inhale and exhale when laying down, sometimes when on all fours, sometimes reclining in my recliner.

I reported this to the surgeon at the two week post-op appt. but I couldn't find the right words to explain it and he didn't understand.

I had an appt. with the surgeon's PA about 4-6 weeks ago. X-ray showed nothing, PA said he never heard of my "flapping" before and had me make a follow up appt. He did say that he thought it was from the lung tissue not healed yet, because they had to cut a triangle like  piece of lung out.He said that when the lung healed, it would probably stop.

In the mean time, I had a CT Scan and appt. with the pulmonologist. The CT Scan according to the pulmonolgist, cardiothoracic surgeon, and one of his PA's said it showed nothing out of the ordinary, but none of them showed it to me.

I saw a different PA last week. This one said the same thing, that he had never heard of a "flapping" before. He asked to see my scar, then put his hand on the side of me and had me breathe deep. He told me that the rib bone that had been cut during surgery was moving.

He brought in the cardiothoracic surgeon who told me that the rib was cut, he had to do something to the cartilage, and spread something or other to get at the mass in the lung. The cardiothoracic surgeon told met that if it doesn't go away, then we will have to find a Plan B.

I am confused by them. Two of the PA's tell me they never heard of that before. The lung surgeon and the second PA say it is normal healing. How can it be normal if they never heard of it before?

I was told that it takes 6 months to a year after the surgery to heal up, which I believe.

Has anyone else had a flapping feeling when breathing from a thoractomy?

I am looking for information to decide whether I will go to another thoracic surgeon.

Thank you.



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