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Atypical Carcinoid Tumor

Gail R

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Hello. I had a pneumonectomy four weeks ago for atypical carcinoid tumor. Prior to surgery, I had a terrible, persistent cough. Now I still have a slight cough. I thought the cough would be gone since my remaining lung has been clear in all of the X-rays. Is this normal after this type of surgery? I am using the I inspirometer and walking every day. (I will ask at my appointment later this week, but am becoming anxious.)

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Welcome Gail,

I confess I needed to do a bit of reading to learn about your atypical carcinoid tumor before responding.  

I also had a complete pneumonectomy but because of surgical complications and a serious infection, had surgical complications.  But, a persistent cough was indeed a symptom I experienced after my surgeries were complete.  My surgeon explained it was due to irritated tissue in the airway.  While hospitalized, I had breathing treatments about 4 times per day that helped with the irritation and after discharge, my doc prescribed an inhaler that also helped.

However, my airway is still very sensitive to irritation.  In particular, I've developed seasonal asthma and high spring and fall pollen counts make me wheeze and cough.  Further, avoid school age because a chest cold will be a very difficult event for you.  Get your flu and pneumonia shot.  A chest cold, now more than 12 years after lung removal, puts me in bed for weeks so I do everything I can to avoid it.  My oncologist has me keep a ready prescription of Leavaquin 500 mg on hand and orders me to start taking this antibiotic if I develop chest cold symptoms and if my expectorant turns dark.  Of course, I promptly see my GP but I start the antibiotic right away in the event I can't get in to see my GP quickly.

Keep up the inspirometer work and keep exercising.  Both are helpful for recovery.

Stay the course.


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