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pip1948

Not sure it is cancer?????

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18 hours ago, BridgetO said:

Hi Paula, I thought you were   scheduled for VATS. Was I wrong or were you switched from VATs to thoracotomy?  

Hello BridgetO!  No I was never scheduled for VATs because of scar tissue and lymph nodes that were involved. I don’t think the incision site is a big has we all expected but from what the surgeon said the whole procedure was a lot easier than he expected.  

I was just happy to get the surgery at all based on the location of the tumor and effected lymph nodes. 

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1 hour ago, BridgetO said:

Hi Paula, I was wrong!  Now that you mention it, I do remember that scar tissue. your recovery from open surgery is unusually fast,I think.

Bridget

Bridget, all the nurses and doctors said the same thing. You know they did an  epidural  on me before I went into surgery and I kept that drip until Tuesday. I personally think it helped my pain and healing. 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️ I’d never heard of doing an epidural except with having babies.  

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Wow!? Your experience is a good one! I am hoping that mine will be the same.  Our family as a whole has had a lot of surgeries!  But all of them were about hips and legs ... so non weight bearing after surgery.  My family is thinking about my recovery with those experiences in their heads. I think that I am going to have more help than I am going to want or need.  I am hoping to stay in the the hospital long enough to have the drainage tube out and be able to move around the house when I get home. 

Thank you all for your experiences, it has been so informative. 

 

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You'll be able to move around the house or even the neighborhood if you have the drain tube in. Just wear something with a waistband or belt  you can hook the bag over (I'm not sure if i remember correctly, but I think it had it's own hook. Then, if your going out, put on some kind of coat to cover iup tube and bag . That being said, I think most people do have the tube out before they come hom. I was unusual in having a persistent air leak and the air needed somewhere to go. The tube has a one way valve so air (and fluid) can get out but not back in. 

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In reading about peoples experiences, here on this site and some others, it seems that having the drainage out too soon, and/or coming home too soon, results in problems and having to go back in the hospital. I would rather stay and avoid any problems.  My surgeon did say, the drainage needs to be in as long as it needs to be in, whatever that is. 

 

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It's sort of a wash, I think, because hospitals are not the healthiest place to hang out longer than necessary.  I AM one of those who developed an air leak and had to go back in with a chest tube for a few days.  But my doctor felt I could go home and insisted I call him if it didn't resolve on its own.  It didn't, but apparently most often it does.  I wish I had stayed longer, but there was really no reason to believe it was necessary, and it wasn't that big a deal to go back in for a few days.  My complication wasn't dangerous, just very uncomfortable.  Lots of people manage to pick up infections in hospitals, which is why it's not necessarily a good idea to stay longer "just in case."

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Pip,

I had a lot of air leeks. Also had a tube at home for about a month between surgeries. The tube was in my right lower back. 

That placement made sitting in a chair, car or on most furniture very difficult. Fortunately I had an office chair with a slim back that didn’t hit the drain. 

I used a sweatshirt and my tube had a sling rig to it could look like I broke an arm with the receptacle passing for a cast. 

Sleeping was a challenge. We used wedge pillows to brace me on my side. If I rolled on to my back, I woke up in a hurry. My surgeon said the same thing. The tube stayed as long as it needed to stay. He did see me once a week to check on things and my wife changed dressing every day. 

I had a strange occurrence right before my last surgery. I was showering and the tube fell out!  That was strange. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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I am so hoping that I don't have to have the drain for a long time. I also have a financial disadvantage of being released from the hospital and then having to go back in. So, I am just hoping that I don't have any issues. But it is sounding more and more common to me. Oh well, I guess it will be what it is, and I will roll with it. 

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15 hours ago, LexieCat said:

It's sort of a wash, I think, because hospitals are not the healthiest place to hang out longer than necessary.  I AM one of those who developed an air leak and had to go back in with a chest tube for a few days.  But my doctor felt I could go home and insisted I call him if it didn't resolve on its own.  It didn't, but apparently most often it does.  I wish I had stayed longer, but there was really no reason to believe it was necessary, and it wasn't that big a deal to go back in for a few days.  My complication wasn't dangerous, just very uncomfortable.  Lots of people manage to pick up infections in hospitals, which is why it's not necessarily a good idea to stay longer "just in case."

How long did you stay in hospital the first time? 

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I went home a couple days after surgery, was already starting to swell up a bit but normally that resolves without a problem.  In my case it continued to worsen, so I called the doc and went back in for a few days.

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Well, Like I said, I guess it will be what it is, and I will just roll with it. I guess I have to trust the doctors and that they will make the right decisions.  

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Yeah, and if you don't feel right about going home when they want to discharge you, speak up.  My doc was ready to send me home the day after surgery, but since I live alone and would have no immediate help (though my neighbors were just a phone call away), I preferred to give it one more day, and nobody had a problem with that.  I'm just suggesting that staying many more days than recommended, on the off chance that you MIGHT have a problem, probably isn't a good idea.

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