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Dad's still in ICU after 5 days

Guest DianeP

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My dad had his lobectomy last week Wednesday and he was doing great. The third day in they took him off suction and his lung collapsed. They got him immediately in ICU and performed a bronchoscopy. Got out a lot of secretions that he was unable to get up on his own, which was the reason for the lung collapse.

Today he had to have it done again, and already his Sat O2 is going down once again and he just had it this morning. They are talking about doing it again tomorrow. He also developed an arrythmia yesterday which they are trying to control.


The doctor said it's due to having "smoker's lungs" and he is unable to bring up his own secretions. I'm scared that he may never be able to and that they might actually have to remove the whole lung that they are desperately trying to save. From what I've seen, I can't imagine him not having both.

Have any of you personally or anyone of your loved ones experienced this after surgery? Looking for "actual" experiences that my family and I can relate to. Thanks for your support, it means a lot to me.

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Hi Diane, I experienced something a little different- because I was draining too much fluid, there was something wrong--

because I had no separations in my lobes, (seems it is kind of rare) the Dr. had to do a little more sewing and cutting than usual----so they did another bronchioscope to see if there was damage inside that was causing this------all looked ok---I was in ICU for about 5 days---when they moved me to a regular room, and tried to turn off the drain, my lung collapsed---to make a long story short, it turns out there was a leak in the drain that was causing the problem (found by a physicians assistant) ---once it was fixed, all was ok

hopefully your Dad continues to improve, and they solve the draining problem shortly---

regards Eileen

nsclc satge 1A

lobectomy 6/00

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Hi Eileen,

Just got lucky I guess....the tumor on his liver turned out benign. The "second" tumor in his right lung turned out to be a deformed rib, and the lymph nodes were extra large from the pneumonia infection, not cancer. Second opinions really helped, they planned to just remove the whole lung at the first hospital, and where he is at now, the removed it and completely resectioned the two lobes that we still good.

He seems to be doing better today, hopefully out of ICU tomorrow as long as he doesn't have to get bronched again.

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Hi Diane,

I had 8 bronchoscopies in 10 days after my initial surgery, the resected lung wouldn 't inflate more than 1/3. After the 11th day, they did another bronch and moved the drainage tubes, releasing a lot of fluid which apparently had prevented the lung from inflating fully.

I had problems after surgery too, I couldn't cough. I had some nerve damage from the surgery, lost some nerves to my larynx as well. My upper left lobe (which was removed) and my left bronchial tube were irradiated, which means they don't sweep out the mucous well either. While they didn't say smoker's lung, I smoked for 27 years, so I'm sure that played a part.

Does it get better over time? Yes, the nerves that were disturbed during surgery do begin to function better, your dad should develop a more effective cough, but like me, he will likely have trouble moving secretions out of the affected lung. One thing is to stay well hydrated, and do the breathing exercises the pulmonist is recommending, even if you hate them. They work.

It should improve slowly over time, and in time your dad will learn how best to manage it.

You're in our prayers,


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