HOW LONG RECOVERY FROM LOBECTOMY

Can I please get some feedback as to how long recovery from a lobectomy takes and how it has affected one's life? My husband had NCSLC and was previously treated with cyberknife in Oct. 2008 as they said he was inoperable because it was located right at the bronchi and major arteries (hilar region) and had been NED until last month. Since then he has had a bronchoscopy now showing poorly differentiated NCSLC favoring adeno (last time they said squamous). We went for a 2nd opinion yesterday to MD Anderson in Orlando, Fl and Dr. Herrera is wanting another CAT scan, a VQ scan, a pulmonary function test, an MRI of the brain and depending on the outcome of these tests said he would be able to perform surgery and reconstruct the bronchi. We also have a 2nd opinon with the radiologist at MD Anderson because the radiologist from Kaplan Cancer Center in WPB said that he was able to do Cyberknife again, but Dr. Herrara is thinking he has had too much radiation already. But my sister is adamant in saying that we should be looking at surgery to get rid of the whole area and that I'm thinking wrong about the Cyberknife. I'm so frightened I don't know what to think anymore. Any responses would be very appreciated.

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It might be best to wait for all test results, as this is a new primary. After seeing all tests, they might not even be able to do surgery. What did he have radiated before? Is it the same lung? You will also be getting a second opinion on radiation, so wait and see what they recommend. Wishing you all the best.
Take care, Judy

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Dear Roro,
I am sorry your husband is now facing this journey all over again. The good news is that it seems to be operable (I know the jury is still out). I had a bi-lobectomy done (lower right and middle right) November 29, 2010 after tons of chemo and radiation. They did the thoracotomy, the big incision. It is doable, not a walk in the park but doable. I had an epidural for pain management and that worked well. I was in hosp. Monday to Monday. My surgeon is a very cautios man so he kept me in ICU for a couple of days even though I was doing well. I had an airleak so I went home with a chest tube, it satyed for a month. This is not norm, may not happen to your husband.
Two weeks after my surgery I was at a big Christmas party, granted I was on oxygen but it did not limit me much.
Some people sleep in a recliner for a while after surgery, I was fine in my bed. When the chest tube came out my recovery went quick. I don't need O2 I will complete my pulmonary rehab (twelve weeks twice a week) onTuesday.
I went to Cancun and swam with the dolphins, I saw the ruins and kept up with everybody else. This was in April.
I am on maintenance Alimta as a precaution, there is, knock on wood, no cancer that we are aware of.

In France they did a reconstruction of a bronchi on a man who is over 80 years old and he is doing great.

I have not included any and all of the twists and turns but I wanted to give you some hope and encouragement.
It sounds to me as if you have a proactive team on board.

Please keep us posted on how things turn out, you have a lot of scans and such ahead of you before the final decision is made.
Come back here and discuss these options again.

We are here for you and we will help you. One day at a time.


Hang in there.


Wishing you and your husband all the best.


Annika

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RoRo,

My situation is pretty simular in some ways. I had a lower lobectomy with a bronch. resection, cancer was squamous cell, well differentaited, no lymph involvement. No chemo, no radiation (Praise the Lord!). All that being said.....my original x-ray's,ct scan,pet scan showed that the large tumor (9cm long) was attached to my bronchial tube, blocking it and growing down into the lower lobe. Decision for surgery is made, plan is to remove the entire left side (both lobes). During surgery they discovered that it was just the reverse, tumor in lower left lobe, growing up, blocking but not attached to bronchial tube. They resectioned bronch, reattached lung and sent me to ICU for 7 days. This all was in October 2010. Fast forward to today....I have had issues with the bronchial tube developing "granular scar tissue" and blocking the airway. It also likes to shrink in overall diameter as well. I've had 7 bronchoscopies in which they have used a balloon to stretch it open,each time it closes.....the last proceedure they placed a stent in the tube and it has worked so far. The problem is that is only 4mm and needs to be at 8 to 10mm. Because of that I wheeze like crazy! My wife says I'm her squeek toy! Good thing my Dachshounds don't think so or I'd have problems!!!! My breathing is not great as I also have copd and asthma/alergies. I've not been able to work as I'm in the landscape industry. We are planning on placing a 8mm stent in about two weeks. During my surgery they did a epidural, and at home I was on phentenol patches. My surgeon told me up front that this would be the most painful thing that a person will encounter.....he was right!
Please know that the surgery is survivable! He will come thru it ok! I know our situations are not the same, but in my case taking the lobe completly was the cure for me. Is it risky..yes
Is it painful...oh yes!
Is it worth it .....absolutely!
You may want to consider having your Dr's talk with my Dr. His name is Keith Naunheim St. Louis University Hospital....He is one of the leading Thoractic surgeons in the nation and was involved in developing the Cyberknife as well. He also lectures nationally and internationally too.
His office is 314-577-8360.
I hope I've helped in some small way, let us know how things progress.....call on anyone on this site anytime for help...we've been or are there too!

Fred

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Thank you, Judy, Annika and Fred. It does sound like an ordeal, but as you said doable. Yes, we have more tests to do. Now, after the CAT Scan and next visit with Dr. Herrera at MD Anderson on the 25th we will be going to Moffit in Tampa the next morning for a third opinion with Dr. Williams. I have another CD being burned with all the previous PETs to bring there. They also want the actual pathology slide so we signed a consent form today for that. Will keep you all informed. Thanks again for your replies.

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