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Hi, I am Sharon and my husband has had an open left upper lobectomy a week ago. He has no pain from the incision site, but severe abdominal pain. Has anyone else experienced this, and can you explain why this is happening?

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S N Perkins,

Welcome here!

My thoracic surgery experience caused a lot of pain in both the incision areas and in other areas of my chest and abdomen. My first suggestion is that you report the severe pain to your husband's surgeon, especially a week after surgery and more importantly, if the abdominal pain is a new symptom.

My abdominal pain was caused by muscle cramps caused by two problems: a chronically low blood magnesium level that resulted in abdominal muscle cramps (caused by the pre-surgical Taxol and Carboplatin chemotherapy), and sharp pain stabs through my chest cavity and abdomen caused by nerve damage from the surgery.

Your husband's pain problem may be different but it should be reported promptly.

Stay the course.



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Hello @s_n_perkins.  I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s surgery.  Open thoracic surgery is tough.  I can only add constipation as a possible culprit to Tom’s already thorough response.  Surgery and the pain medicine can cause constipation.  That can be very painful.  I opted to stop taking pain meds pretty soon after surgery to avoid the pain caused by constipation.  I had VATS surgery, open surgery is a whole other ball game.  I hope the pain subsides soon for him.  

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