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Incisions, Incisions: Surgery question

Gina D.

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I have been reading all the posts here where folks share thier personal info on thier surgeries. I am very grateful you post it, it is very helpful for comparison and guaging my recovery. Thanks!

BUT..I seem to have had a unique invasion here. I was wondering if anyone else had the same thing I did, or thier surgeon used the same method, I should say.

It seems you all have had the lobe or lung removed from your BACK. My was removed from the front. My incision is from about the middle of my armpit and follows the lower crease of my right breast to the center of my chest. No cuts on the back at all.

I just switched GPs, and she was shocked on her first exam of me, she was expecting the huge smiley on the back, and I was pleasantly suprised when she had to ASK where it was.

Now, as a woman, this is not the first place I would ask for a scar, but I have never been well endowed there anyway, so it isn't that big a loss LOL :wink:

Anyone else here have the incision in front?

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Gina my incision is in the back. I am nurse and have never seen a thorocotomy scar in the front. I wonder if it feels different. Do you have the nerve damage? The numbness under your breast? The only other incisions I have seen are on people who had VAT surgery , where they don't break ribs, they only make small incisions , one for the video, one for the instruments, and one for the chest tube.

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I can't answer if it feels different, it's all I know :wink: It is hard to tell if there is any nerve damage yet. My surgeon offered my a long term nerve block that he claims lasts 6 mos. to a year. It feels just like the way novicaine feels on your face and cheeks when the dentist goes overboard. I am still numb, and trust me, I am grateful! I wouldn't be bothered at all if it was numb for life, it's really no big deal. Just different.

The numbness is different in different areas, the breast is actually sore to the touch, and the lower areas, around my belly, are starting to "wake up", so using the dental analogy again, it is kind of sensitive in that area. The area of the incision is deader than dead, you could slice it with a knife and I wouldn't have a clue.

It goes pretty deep, the numbness, but oddly, on the surface, it doesn't stop my skin from itching! wierd, huh? A nurse told me that there were different types of nerve receptors, and the itch one probably isn't effected by this.

Anyway, my surgeon teaches this procedure at UC Irvine in California, appearantly he developed it.

I do and did not have the arm movement problems usually associated with this either, tho I carry my right arm as if it was in a sling sometimes. I think that is a habit hold over from when it was more comfortable to do that, right after surgery. I never had any difficulty with full motion of it.

I was really worried I would have to get rid of my car, which I LOVE, after all of this. It's a clutch and I was suprised I could handle it easily. PHEW!!!!

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Wow Gina

That is really interesting, I sure wish my dads doctor would have known this procedure..My dad did get some sort of shot also that was suppose to relieve his discomfort but it hasnt worked. His surgeon said it would take a couple of days to kick in, that was way back in december. I wonder if its the same thing.

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Gina mine was from my armpit up and around my back---I had the upper right lobe----maybe it is where it was?

also I noticed in one of your other posts that the chest tubes did not hurt when they pulled them out? Not sure where yours were or if we are talkinjg about the same thing (the draining tubes) but mine were on my side and it hurt like hell when they pulled them out as my surgeon just yanked them out---

also had my surgery three years ago and the breast is still sensitive to the touch and was numb for about two years but it does get better in time

regards Eileen

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All three of the big thoracotomies were done with the incision running from under the arm and just below the breast, along the side, and up the back to the shoulder blade. I had surgery on both the upper and lower lobes of the right lung in the first two operations, and in the most recent one they removed the remainder of the lung along with all the lymph nodes in the chest and a rib. I think where they make the incision has more to do with the easiest way to access the tumor than anything else, and that would depend upon the location of the tumor(s) within the chest and lung. And I had no pain when they removed the chest tube(s). I think they gave me more drugs just before taking them out, though.

Fay A.

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Fay A ~ 3???????? Oh my gawd! You win the tough award! 1 was enough for me, thanks :wink: I'd do it again if I have to..but boy, thats a scary thought. I am glad you did ok, it keeps you here with us!

EILEEN ~ No, I believe this is the usual procedure he does. He "pioneered" it according to the articles I have read, and the snooping I did on him before surgery (Hey, I check up on them too :wink: As far as the tube, I only had 1, I see some folks here have had 2, wierd. I had had a tube about 10 years ago for a spontanious pnuemo thorax of the same lung they operated on, and it didn't hurt when they removed the tube then either. It was SCARY, but it didn't hurt.

cathy ~ the numbing meds were injected on the table while I was still open. He explained the areas he would numb and that it took 5 different injections to achieve this.

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