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Right middle lobe lobectomy


susiebb

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I am having a middle lobectomy on Oct.28 and my dr will do dissection of mediastinal lymph nodes. He will do VATS surgery. My question is how long is a normal hospital stay? I'm feeling very hopeful that it has been caught early. Do you really need someone to stay with you at home after surgery? I'm very independent and I believe I'm in good health. I do tend to overdue. Can I do regular household chores like sweeping and mopping when I get home from the hospital? I just want to get back to my normal routine as soon as possible. Any advice?

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Susie,

Welcome here!

My advice is you ensure you are well recovered from surgery and have your surgeon's permission before getting back to a normal routine. Here is some very practical tips about preparing and recovering from lung surgery courtesy of Moderator Lou. I'd abide by these as they stem from the wisdom of experience.

Given your treatment approach, it sounds like you may be an early find. Has a PET scan been performed. Here is some information about scans used to diagnose lung cancer.

Of course if you have any questions about lung cancer, this is the place. While not physicians, collectively we all have PhDs in surviving lung cancer.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Susie,

I had a right lower lobectomy in April of 2019 and I'm still here and presently NED (No Evidence of Disease) so stay strong and read over those tips.  They will answer some questions you may have.

Lou

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Hi Susie and welcome. I had a lower right lobectomy 5 years ago and I now have no evidence of disease. I found ,as manyothers here have, that a lobectomy by VATS is fairly easy as surgeries go. But it is still a surgery and it's not inconsequential. General anesthesia is hard on a person, as is having a part of the body removed. So take it easy and give yourself time to recover. You'll probably need somebody there with you the first day you're home. And you'll probably need somebody to help with dressing changes. The incisions are small, but they can be hard to reach. Ask your doctor or nurse about limitations on activity. You'll probably be advised not to lift anything over 5 or 8 pounds (advice varies) until you're healed up. So that rules out a lot of household tasks.  You will  get back to your normal routine, but not right away. 

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homeThank yall so much for the tips and support. Yes I have had a Pet scan and the two nodules lit up. Fortunately for me they are both in the same lobe. I really trust my surgeon. I am going to the lung institute in Houston ( which as been recognized as one of the top in the nation for lung cancer). They have aa holistic approach which I really like. To them I am Susie, not my disease. Apparently the only skinny things on me are my veins and my middle lobe so wedge resection is not an option. Question....how long did you stay in the hospital? I am having the vats procedure. He says he might need to open me up for the lymph node dissection but they did not light up on the pet scan so'm I'm hopeful? Did yall have an epidural in the hospital for pain? I'm a little nervous about the pain because I can't take NSAIDs or hydrocodone because of allergies.  Did you use cold compresses or a heating pad when you got  home? Thanks for the help. My mother died of lung cancer 30 years ago and it was horrible.

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Susie,

My thoracic surgery (actually 3 back-to-back-to-back) was not typical so I can't answer your questions about my hospital stay.

I wouldn't worry about lymph node resections. Most can be accessed through a small incision at the base of the throat and perhaps depending on how the surgeon plans the VATS, during the lobe resection. I had general anesthesia during all my thoracic surgeries and after I had a morphine injector to press when I felt the pain. I wouldn't worry about your allegory to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), I'm sure your doctors have alternative methods about relieving post surgical pain. I didn't use cold compresses or a heating pad during my home recovery but I had a full thoracotomy and the extent of incision made those methods impractical. I did use lidocaine patches to mitigate incision pain. VATS incisions by contrast are very small and should present little problem.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Susie,

I had VATS (Robotic) and I was in the hospital 3 days.  Many others have had stays similar to mine.

Lou

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Susie, I had VATS  lower right lobectomy, with 27 mediastinal lymph nodes removed. I was discharged the nest day with a chest drain still in!  I was taking oxycodone at home until thd drain was removed about 10 days later and after the removal I had little pain. I think it's unusual for somebody to be discharged as soon as I was, or to be discharged with a drain, but I was glad to be home.

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 Thank yall for the answers. You reassure me that yes I can stay the course. It.s funny how the mind works. Today I felt so great that I thought I don't need surgery . I am just fine. Why go through this. I realize that I may be in denial... I can't even say the c word. I live alone with a cat and he just meows when I ask him what should I do. I find that I'm getting anxious now but I've been cool as a cucumber until today. I'll be glad when Oct.28 gets here ( surgery day).. Also giving up my emotional crutch, smoking, hasn't helped but thanks again for your answers and Encouragement.

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Susie, I'm gonna throw this out there just in case it helps. I, too, was a smoker for many decades. A year before my diagnosis I switched to vaping. It isn't the nicotine that gives you cancer, it's the products of burning tobacco when inhaled. Now, there has been some research SUGGESTING that nicotine might, even if not causing cancer, encourage tumor growth. So I later switched to zero percent nicotine liquid and finally stopped vaping altogether recently. My doctors, including my oncologists, knew about my vaping and considered me a "non-smoker." None of them urged me to quit. 

So the BEST thing to do is to quit nicotine altogether, but if you find it too difficult not to pick up a cigarette, give vaping a shot. It's certainly better than smoking. I vaped for about 5 years and didn't have the urge to smoke all that time. It satisfied the "nervous habit" aspect of smoking that nicotine patches or lozenges didn't touch.

If you do decide to try vaping, do your research and find a reputable company that tests for impurities or dangerous compounds in their e-liquids. Some manufacturers are fly-by-night and not sufficiently careful in their manufacturing processes. The reputable companies will have good reviews and will talk about how they test their products.

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Thanks LexieCat for the advice. The office I go to has a smoking cessation specialist and he said that yes vaping would be ok for me as long as I used 0 % nicotine. I bought one and I'm trying. I think that it's finally sinking in and yes I do feel great shame because I brought this c on myself. I feel so stupid but I also realize that feeling doesn't change anything. So I have to put my big girl panties on and deal with it. Sometimes I don't want to be an adult but I am so I will....deal. I think I hear some chocolate ice cream calling my name!

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Susie, people who never smoked who get lung cancer are beating themselves up for not being organic enough. Or whatever enough. Or using cosmetics. It's not your fault. It just happens, and we've drawn the short straw. Smoking is also a risk factor for cardiac trouble. Not every smoker gets lung cancer or has a heart attack. 

Lexie has some good advice. I have a friend who used hypnosis to quit, and it worked for her. Granted, it doesn't work for everyone. Best of luck with your cessation efforts. 

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Thanks Judy for your words. It's so much easier for me to forgive others than for me to forgive myself. Today is a good day so far... I even bought some Christmas ornaments.

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