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Lobectomy tomorrow


ScaredNiece

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My aunt has a 1.9cm adenocarcinoma in right lower lobe that had 1.5 PET uptake and a "non specific uptake near hilar region of 4.0".  

She had an EBUS but no samples were taken so the SBRT option was risky not knowing of the hilar lymph nodes are involved. 

I'm terrified the night before I take my 70 year old aunt that has many comorbidities- age, high blood pressure, stage 3 renal failure, diabetes, etc for her right lower lobe robotic lobectomy.  The surgeon did a 2D ECHO, stress test, etc and still is proceeding with the surgery. He is an excellent thoracic surgeon but it is still terrifying.

Also, once we get her through the surgery safely, I dont know what to expect her recovery to be like.  Any stories or information would be helpful to calm my nerves.

 

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Hi, Niece,

Well, it does get a bit more complicated with other medical issues, but for most of us, the lobectomy was pretty simple. Is your aunt having VATS surgery? (Video-assisted, laparoscopic?) I was 61 when I had my lobectomy, and honestly, my C-section way back hurt more and took longer to recover from. I was out with friends 2 weeks after surgery.

Make sure she does her breathing exercises--they are tough at first and involve a lot of coughing, but they WANT you to cough to clear your lungs. A wedge pillow will help her sleep better at night. And she should be up and around as soon as she feels up to it. I experienced no noticeable change in my breathing capacity or oxygen level once I recovered. 

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She's having robotic with davinci robot.  Surgeon has 2 of them today alone so high volume experienced surgeon with the robot.

I am going to keep your outcome in my mind today for my mental strength!  Thank you for sharing your story.

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Robotic is virtually the same as VATS. My own surgeon said it's really a matter of the surgeon's comfort level with a particular technique (his colleague, for instance, preferred robotic) and the availability of the equipment. 

I have a feeling she will come through this just fine--she has an experienced surgeon who thinks she's a good candidate. 

There are never any guarantees with any of this cancer deal, but I think you have good reason to feel optimistic.

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I had a right upper lobe Lobectomy 18 months ago.  I was petrified. The recovery after surgery was not as difficult as I feared it would be and I am still NED.  I was up and back at it three to four weeks later. Very minimal lingering things like numbness at the incision locations.  Very minimal.  Your aunt will do great.  Hang in there.  

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I wish for your aunt's speedy recovery.  I had an upper left lobectomy and resection in 2019. I recovered without complications.  I tended to be impatient with my progress and it caused some added stress.   I   think being patient with oneself is so important.  We are all different with healing and recovery.

Best,

Deb

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  • 2 weeks later...

Her chest tube site is STILL draining.  I took her to see the PA and they were OK with it bc its not infected and clear drainage.  Its isn't crazy 9 days after removal still draining.  Anyone have that?

Also her BNP bloodwork value is way out of whack.  8000s when normal is 125.  Hoping just body shock from the surgery and that number comes down because it's scary.

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ScaredNiece,

Anyone have a lengthy chest tube hook-up? Yes, I did. I had one for about 3 months. Just keep the site clean and change dressings frequently. 

There are many reasons for lengthy connections. The best person to explain the reason for the tub duration is your aunt’s thoracic surgeon.

Stay the course.

Tom

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After my lobectomy, my chest tube was in for about 10 days, because  air was still leaking, tActually, it would have been in longer, but it got plugged up and l Ieaked fluid into the bandage and my clothes and bedding instead of the tube. So I ended up in the ER on Thanksgiving 4 years ago, where they determined that I was not leaking much air and they took the tube out. Otherwise it would have been in at least until my next appointment with the surgeon a few days later.  

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Sorry to hear about the site.  As Tom said, keep the dressing clean and the site free moisture.  It may take a bit of time to heal.  I remember my site oozing for a few days after I came home (which was three days after surgery) and then it closed up.  I hope all this resolves for her soon.

Lou

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Site finally stopped draining!!

She is still experiencing intermittent AFib, some coughing, and shortness of breath but doing much better over all 2 1/2 weeks after surgery.

Today we went to follow up and got pathology.  We knew about the 1.2cm adenocarcinoma.  It only had .5cm intrusion so very good news.  They found a second .6cm tumor that tested as squamous cell.  Two different cancers!!!  But it was also very small.  Lymph nodes were clear.  Staged as 1A1.  We are celebrating and thankful today.  I know we will have scan anxiety in 6 months but today we are celebrating!

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Thanks for the update! Two different types of cancer is unusual, but given their size, hopefully the surgery took care of both. She should feel progressively better over time. Did they take any lymph nodes? I'm assuming, if they did, that they were negative.

Hope you can both enjoy the holidays!

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Well it looks like they caught both of them early and removed them. That's a very good outcome if there is one for lung cancer. Congratulations and I hope that will be the end of it going forward.  

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