What can I expect after lobectomy?

Scheduled for removal of upper right lobe tomorrow. What kind of pain should I expect? How long?

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Hi Pcjazz, I had mine done on the second and i am still sore and in pain but it is manageable. I had an epidural that kept the bad pain away so I was able to cough and walk with small amount of pain. Are they talking about nerve block with you, ask them for one its made mine so much easier than alot of other people who didnt have it. I use a pillow when I sit so it takes some of the pressure away from the surgery site. If you need more answered just let me know. Mary

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Hello Lady.
Not sure what kind of pain meds I will be on. How long before you were able to walk around, take a shower, go to the bathroom by yourself? That kind of stuff.

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Hello, I was up the next day but it was hard the first time your legs get weak from being in bed. I would really talk to the docs about the nerve block it does help. As for shower, I came home Thursday and took a shower Friday and by the time I got out of shower I was so wore out I had to have help turning off shower. They had a catheter on me till day before I came home. But the best advise I got from this site was walk, walk walk. It help expand your lung so you can take in more air, I am still recouperating from the surgery but as you can see I am sitting at the computer so its not keeping me down. Mary

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Hello Pcjazz:

Wanted to wish you the best of luck on your surgery tomorrow. Everything will be fine, stay strong and think positive.....take it day by day that is the best way to deal with this. One day at a time.....keep moving forward and don't look back. You will be fine, we're here for you, stay in touch.

Take care, Julia

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Hi Pcjazz. I hope I have helped you some with my answers today, I know I was so nervous the day before surgery cause I wasnt sure what to expect and I wrote on here also so if you look at my posts you will see some other peoples comments. Please keep us informed on your surgery ok. my prayers will be with you tomorrow. Mary

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It may well depend on the type of surgery - VATS or "rib-spreading". I had the former - VATS. I really never felt any pain - though I did have a morphine drip that automatically gave me a dose for the first few days. B ut I was out of the hospital after two and a half days, back at work in a week (though that was really pushing it). I never had anything that I categorized as "pain," though I did feel discomfort and took a few pills for a few days to get to sleep. But no real PAIN! Not sure the same can be said for the rib-spreading "traditional" operation - from what I hear it is pretty bad for some.

Courage

Chum

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I had the VATS surgery. spent one night in the hospital with a pain drip. After that I walked out of the hospital feeling a little weak from the surgery and bed rest. I used pain medication for a couple of days and and also used the pillow under my arm to help with pain. Slept with the pillow for a long time just for comfort.

I felt better after surgery with less coughing. Used breathing exercises to increase my breathing and as soon as my healing took place I joined water aerobics class. I was so glad I did this!!

B e sure they check your lymph nodes while having surgery so to avoid a second surgery. In my case they did not and I had a second surgery which revealed the cells were in my lymph system. And I required both chemo and radiation. If this had been missed I would have been in deep trouble.
Julie JB

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I had VATS - walk in the park.....good luck!!!

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Chum - good to see you posting!!!

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It hurts...take all the pain meds you can take for a while. Don't wait for it to hurt. Walking helps to get you strong. Take a little stroll as soon as you can. After the first week or so, it gets easier, I know that I took my meds for a long time, but not many after the first couple weeks. Breathing exercises help too. Get lots of rest, try to eat. I wasn't hungry for a long time. Saying prayers for a quick recovery and great outcome for you.
God Bless & Good thoughts
Denise

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I would also recommend a stool softner which
will help with less straining because that can
hurt. Also breathing exercises as soon as
you can. Give yourself time to heal, listen
to your discharge instructions to the T. I had
a home care nurse come for the first 6 weeks
once a week. Also a pillow to the surgical
area when you cough.

Good Luck MARIA

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Oh good luck and prayers your way! My mom had hers over 2 years ago. It was painful at first and if you stay on top of the pain meds you will be fine. She began Tarceva right afterwards. The surgeon said all of the cancer was contained to the upper right lobe but wanted to make sure it didn't come back. The Tarceva made her tired and she said she would have felt better sooner after the surgery if not on the Tarceva with side effects. She was on Tarceva a year and then went into afib. After that side effect the oncologist took her off of Tarceva since she had been on it a year. She had her heart shocked back into rhythm and she is as good as new! It was so worth the surgery and Tarceva to have my wonderful mom still here. She is so much stronger now. You have to be a fighter!! God bless!!

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Julie, how big and what type was your cancer originally? I had a wedge for a suspected BAC, and no node sampling in May, and since it turned out to be adeno, I am now having a lobectomy and will sample nodes. You are one of the few others that I have noticed that has had to go back to check nodes.

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Pcjazz, I had a lower left lobectomy with a "mini" thoracotomy in January 2011. They did spread my ribs at the incision in my back. And I think that cracked a rib in the front of my chest. A lot of us have residual numbness due to cut nerves. Even though the cut is in the back, the numbness seems to be in the front -- a palm-sized region under my left breast, in my case. Pain was bad when I coughed, for several weeks. I probably hugged a pillow when I coughed for the first two weeks. I was walking a mile in loops in the halfway, dragging my IV stand, before I left the hospital 5 days after surgery. Ask about how much exercise you can do. You need to exercise, but you can certainly overdo it, too. My surgeon limited the amount of weight I could lift, and restricted repetitive upper-body exercises for at least a couple of months.
I was told to walk a lot. Going to the bathroom was not a problem. Reaching around to wipe was a little painful at first, but not too bad. Showering was okay because they had a waterproof bandage over my cut.

Lung surgery is a major hit to your body. But if they got the cancer out, it is a lifesaver. jimx

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