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What is the recovery like for a lobectomy?

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Healing after a lobectomy takes time. If you have open surgery, you may spend up to a week in the hospital. You'll typically go home sooner if you have VATS or robotic surgery. You'll also have:

  • Pain: Most people have some the first few months after surgery. You'll get meds for it when you leave the hospital, but you'll need them less over time.
  • Fatigue: You'll feel tired and out of breath at first. That's should get better in a few weeks.
  • Constipation: Pain pills and not moving around much after surgery can cause this problem. Things should return to normal when you stop taking pain medicine. In the meantime, take the laxatives and stool softeners your doctor prescribes.
  • Exercise: Walk every day to regain your strength and keep your lungs healthy and clear.

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Surgery for small-cell lung cancer." "Treatment for non-small cell lung cancer, by stage."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Lobectomy."

Cleveland Clinic: "Lobectomy of Lung-Minimally Invasive Approach to Lung Cancer Surgery" (video).

UptoDate: "Management of stage I and stage II non-small cell lung cancer."

American Lung Association: "COPD: Surgery."

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Why Consider Robotic Surgery for Lung, Esophageal and Other Chest Cancers?"

American Thoracic Society: "Pulmonary Rehabilitation."

Glattki, GP. 2012. American Journal of Clinical Oncology,

Veterans Health Library: "Surgery for Lung Problems."

University of Michigan Health System: "After Your Lung Surgery."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on September 16, 2020

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Surgery for small-cell lung cancer." "Treatment for non-small cell lung cancer, by stage."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Lobectomy."

Cleveland Clinic: "Lobectomy of Lung-Minimally Invasive Approach to Lung Cancer Surgery" (video).

UptoDate: "Management of stage I and stage II non-small cell lung cancer."

American Lung Association: "COPD: Surgery."

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Why Consider Robotic Surgery for Lung, Esophageal and Other Chest Cancers?"

American Thoracic Society: "Pulmonary Rehabilitation."

Glattki, GP. 2012. American Journal of Clinical Oncology,

Veterans Health Library: "Surgery for Lung Problems."

University of Michigan Health System: "After Your Lung Surgery."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on September 16, 2020

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Why would you need a lobectomy?

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