Posted by: AnnaM | 2009-08-31

Lung cancer

Good day - my husband (smoker) has a large cancerous tumour in his right lung (stage 3) - this week the top and middle lobes will be removed - according to surgeon he will be in ICU 2 days, general ward 3 days and then should be able to come home. What can we expect pain-wise after 6 days? how easily does one adapt to breathe with 1 & 1/3rd lungs? I am really nervous about having to look after him at home - will I be able to cope? will he need special nursing? Thanks

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Our expert says:
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Hallo AnnaM
He is probably only using 1 1/3 lungs at the moment to breathe with as the area with the tumour does not work properly anyway. Lung tissue is pliable so the remaining lung will expand and he may even have less difficulty breathing if constricting tissue is removed. To do the operation they sometimes cut through or remove a rib and spread the opening, so the muscle and chest wall can be quite sore for weeks to months. Usually physiotherapy is prescribed to assist with pain management and breathing. They will not let him go home without him being stable so I don't think you need to worry about this. I hope all goes well with the operation, let me know how he is?
Dr Bets

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