Average recovery time for wedge resection versus a lobectomy

Can anybody give me an idea of how long the recovery time is for a wedge resection versus a lobectomy? I know everybody is different and unique in their biology. I am a fit, active 44 year old woman and am worried that I won't be able to do the long cycling, hiking, and swimming that I was able to do before the surgery. It is a big part of my life. However, I know if it turns out to be BAC then I most likely will have my whole lobe removed to avoid recurrence. I would love to hear from anybody who is willing to share their healing journey with me. Thanks so much.

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Well, I am 60, and I had a lobectomy. It did take me quite a while to get back to walking, gardening, and more, but more because I'd had breast cancer a few months before, chemo, radiation, so my recovery time was longer. At six months I was back to myself, albeit not active like YOU. You will train, find your new normal, and you will still take pleasure and JOY in hiking the trails and swimming and biking-----even more JOY than before because it will all be so grand and so magnificent to be well, to be healthy, to be strong, to be so very much ALIVE in every bit of your being. Cancer can really change you emotionally for the better! I know it sounds crazy, but the JOY of living is immense. Hugs and courage and strength, and HAPPY TRAINING, xoxo
Nancy
and prayers for your speedy healing!!!

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Hi, I had a lobectomy to the lrl on 9-23-10 and returned to work with no restrictions on 10-25-10. My stamina is totally back now at 5 months post tx. Although I am not an athlete. I am 52, and do my yard (push mower, raking, edging, and blowing), which is how I gaged my stamina, as initially it would take several rest periods to get the yard complete and now I only stop for bathroom breaks. I hope this helps. Now I would imagine for a wedge resection, they still have to insert the chest tubes for drainage and deflate the lung, so I would imagine it would be about the same recovery depending on your overall lung function. I wish you well. Lori.

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I had a VATS lobectomy (Upper right lobe) the day before Thanksgiving in 2004. I was back t work the following Wednesday. I was back to playing tennis or taking long walks until 3-6 months later. But I do play tennis, swim several times a week, walk about 3 miles a day and, in general, do everything I did before the cancer.

I believe that many will report the same thing - but the speed of recovery has much more to do with the surgical procedure (VATS versus "rib spreading") than anything else. The pieces I have read suggest that a lobectomy is superior to a wedge resection - less change of recurrence. But everything I read says the VATS procedure is less painful and you recover quicker from it than the older version tht requires ribs to be broken and/or cut out.

Courage

Chum

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I am a active 53 year old male. I had a wedge resection on Feb 10th. I asked for the VATS procedure but the surgeon wanted to do it the old fashion way so he could get his hands on the nodule. If is was cancerous he was going to remove the lobe and some of the surrounding lymph nodes. I have a 5 inch incision, had a chest tube, deflated lung, all the same things as if they would have had to take the lobe. I was very lucky as the nodule turned out to be benign so they just closed me up. I went back yesterday for my 3 week follow up appointment. I will admit this procedure kicked my butt for about 2 weeks but now I am really starting to feel like my old self again. The hardest part was after I got home. I couldn't sleep in bed for about a week and slept in the recliner. Finding a comfortable postion is hard. I started taking short walks 3 days after I got home and pushed myself to do a little more each day. I still have some numbness under my right breast which the surgeon said should get better over the next 3 months as the nerve endings heal. I go back to work full time 3/16. He said I could probably start swinging a golf club in about 4 more weeks. The one thing I would recommend is a epidural. They put it in before they put me out in the OR. Did not feel it and I believe it is why I was never in pain while in the hospital. That and the Dilaudid in my IV. Let me know if you have any other questions and I will say a prayer for you that you have the same results as I have been fortunate to have.

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I had an upper right lobectomy in June 2007. It was a painful surgery, but after the first few days it levels out. I was home within a week and during that first week home I was soon was walking 30 min. a day. My progress was remarkable. (I was 43 at the time, not particularly athletic.) Then after a week I got really sick and had to return to the hospital due to a staph infection that was contracted in the area where my drainage tubes were! That infection knocked me down much more than the surgery did.

After the surgery I had a lot of numbness and tingling in front, on my abdomen, even though the incision was in my back. Nearly 4 years later now, those feelings have mostly disappeared.

I don't think the surgery will set you back much at all. Other things, like chemo and radiation, should you have to have any of that, will do more to stunt your energy level and interfere with how active you feel like being.

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I had a lobectomy in January 2008 and a wedge resection in October 2009. The wedge resection was far and away an easier recovery! I was trekking for 2 weeks in Switzerland in July 2010 and feeling great. I am an active 63 year old.

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I'll take VATS over anything. I had an Upper Right Lobectomy on August 19, 2010, it was painful and it took almost four weeks before I could really get up and go. I'm 60 in two weeks and I still sometimes feel out of breath and tired. If possible go VATS.
God Bless.
Good Luck,
Alta

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Which lobe are we talking about?
If you are talking about how you will do long term and you are very fit you might not even notice that you are missing a lobe in the long haul. They will (should) test your pulmonary function before the surgery. Bring this question up with the surgeon, ask for a referral to a pulmonologist and find out for sure where you are at. We can only speculate. When they remove a lobe the rest of the lung will expand, not grow. But in time it will take over the work that the missing lobe did. Maybe not all but some.
You may be surprised to find out that you would do very well.
When you have the professionals predictions from your results then you know what to wish for.
I think the chances are quite high you will be pleasantly surprised since you are in such great shape and don't have any copd or additional issues.

Wishing you all the best.
Annika

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Thanks to all of your for your feedback. It means so much to me. AnnakaH, at the moment, MGH plans to do a wedge resection but the plan could easily change depending on what they find in pathology while I am on the operating table. My lesion is in the apex of my right upper lobe. I know it is about 1.1 cm wide but am not sure how long it is ... for some reason, nobody is willing to give me that info. I have felt normal other than chronic productive cough and frequent upper respiratory viruses until recently ... lately, I have felt a heavy sensation in my right upper lung. Recently, the lesion has started to become more prominent and there is a solid component to it albeit small, 4mm. I am not sure if infectious disease can show up like this on a ct scan but MGH is leaning towards believing it is BAC. I know on the West coast they take a pretty conservative approach with BAC and like to take out the least amount of lung tissue. The Doctors believe that BAC is so slow growing and they don't like to have reserve lung tissue to work with if it does possibly recur in the future. I am going to have a pulmonary function test on the 17th of March at Mass General Hospital. My surgery is scheduled for the 24th. I have learned so much from all of you and, like I have said before, you have been my biggest support group. Thanks again! Wendy

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Hi Wendy,
My first surgery was a lobectomy, it took me a good 6 weeks before I was back to my normal activities. I was not a "physically active" person, but the doctors do say, not to heavy lift (more than 5 lbs), but definitely encourage walking (hiking and biking). Sleeping was also difficult, I found sleeping with several pillows in the upside "V" was comfortable.
Keeping you in my thoughts for the 17th!
Eileen

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Wendy
I am from Virginia but am now being treated at MGH. I had a upper left lobectomy in Virginia last January.
My cancer is BAC also. They discovered it in my lower left lobe a month ago. Dr Seaquest at MGH thinks it was there at the time of my first surgery.
I have many of the same symptoms as you. A constant productive cough being the most prevalent.
I recovered in about 2 and a half weeks from the lobectomy to the point where I was up and around.
I am having the lower left lobe removed April 6th at MGH.
Good luck to you. I am told that MGH is a great place to go for lung cancer

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Hi Bob,
Thanks for sharing this information with me. I also have been seeing Dr. Sequist ... I think they are highly skilled at MGH and chose them over Duke. Where in VA did you have your upper left lobe removed? Why did you seek another location for your second surgery? Did they think it was BAC the first time around? Good luck to you on your surgery and let me know the outcome. Wendy

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Wendy
Sorry for not replying sooner I didn't see your message until today.
I had the upper lobe removed at Fairfax hospital in Virginia. I chose to go to MGH because of Dr Seaquest. I heard great things about her. We found out after the surgery that it was BAC. They did a biopsy this time and it is BAC. I go to MGH tomorrow for pre-op testing and to meet with DrSeaquest.
Good luck
Bob

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Bob, are you going in for a second surgery due to recurrence? I think we will be there the same time as I am having my surgery on the 24th. I wish you well and will be thinking of you .... take good care. wendy

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i was 52 when I had my right lung removed - VATS - I was up and arpound in 2 days - back on the treadmill in 2 weeks and doing just fine - I'm not running any marathons - but I could if I put my mind to it....

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Wendy
I am having a second surgery but I really dont think it was a reocurrance I believe that it was there (in the lower lobe) all along and they didnt catch it last time.
I am actualy in Boston and just left Dr Sequests office. She is fantastic, one of the best doctors I have ever come in contact with.
I will actualy be having a procedure tommorrow also. I am sure we will pass in the hallways. They are biopsying my lymphnodes to make sure they are clear before I have the Pneumanectomy on April 6th.
Good luck with your operation. When I had my lobectomy I was up walking the day after. I took my pain meds before tha pain was too bad. I felt pretty good in about 2 weeks.

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I have had both. A lobectomy in 12/2007 and a wedge resection in 2/2008 and again in 3/2009. I spent a good week in the bed at home after each of these. I think the first one was a little bit worse or maybe I feel that way just because I had no idea how uncomfortable I would be when I got home. I left the hospital after 4 days for all these surgeries. My advice is don't worry. My pain was from the movement of my ribs and I think that happens in either case. Just rejoice that you can have surgery!

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