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I will be having left lung removed in about 2 weeks & was told I would only have about a 4 to 6 in incision under my shoulder blade & would like to know what to expect & how long in hospital

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I had my lower left lung removed with incision the size of yours and i was in hospital for 5 days with a drainage tube for 4 of those days and the pain isnt fun but with regular pain relief it was not too bad and once at home i could sleep on my sides because that hurt for about 2 weeks but after that it was tolerable to sleep either side and i kept up with a ventolin puffer and the breathing was easier but havent needed it since those first two weeks and that was back in january this year so i hope your recovery goes as well for you ...stay positive ..

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That was meant to say Couldnt Sleep on my sides for first 2 weeks and a lot of people say using a wedge pillow helps breathing and comfort so maybe get one before surgery

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My right lung was removed in 2004. Here is what I can recall from my experience. 

Pain: they put a morphine injector on an IV and I was instructed to use it when I felt pain. It was removed after 2 days and pain was controlled with oral meds as needed. I felt no pain!

Mobility: they had me doing laps around the ward the first day I was admitted to the ward. A physical therapist assisted me and pushed me to go further each time. 

Respiration: I was shown how to use a spirometer and coached to keep the ball high three or more times per day by a respiratory tech. 

Drainage: I two chest cubes installed after surgery. The first was removed after recovery room discharge. The second the day before hospital discharge. Both were pain free procedures. 

Discharge: My first surgery discharge from was five days after surgery. 

Problems at home: Comfortable sleeping. I had to buy two angular elevating pillows to sleep. A flat bed didn't work. Buy these now. Audition candidates at a local mattress store, they buy on line. I used two 15 degree pillows to get a sleeping angle that was comfortable. You will be a back sleeper for a long time. Getting out of bed will take some practice. You'll need to learn to slide and roll. Lifting by elbows and hands won't work. You may need to take a look at your room furniture because your favorite chair may not be usable. Don't count on lifting any think heavier than a tooth brush with your left hand for 15 days. You may need up to three weeks off of work depending on your recovery. 

Aerobic Capacity: after recovering you should return to pre-surgery activity. I was able to do most of the things I could do before surgery. Running is out of the question as is climbing more than 3 flights of stairs. 

Airline Flights: you may need to avoid flying in a commercial airliner for quite a while. Ask your surgeon about this. The cabin pressure is normally 6,000 ft and that lower pressure causes you chest and abdomen to swell. Thirteen years later, I still feel substantial pain when flying. But, I didn't have one surgery, I had four because of unusual complications. 

Stay connected with us because you'll likely have more questions. 

Stay the course. 


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