I had a lobectomy of my right upper lobe back in Nov 14 2007. Began lifting weights again last week of December. Started back at work Jan 14. I still have soreness within my ribs but not enought to prevent me for working.
Glad to know others have questions too - I had lobectomy in May & still have quite a bit of pain - am using the treadmill, stationary bike & "light" weight training - and still need pain pills too often! No one can seem to tell me how long to expect this pain after surgery. My docs didn't even give me a rehab plan - they told me to check w/ occupational health & see what they say...
Recovery is variable, and so are expectations of people undergoing surgery. There are groups of people who do quite well and have very minimal residual pain or limitations, but there are others who may have permanent aches and pains.
Exercise may improve your capacity and makes chances of reaching the optimum more likely. Some people tend to avoid exercise due to the pain, this would be more detrimental as it may further restrict lung capacity in the future.
Spoke to my surgron's PA the other day - having new pains this week - different than prior times - my surgery was 05/02/08. I added the rowing machine last week to my exercises. Doc says new pains can be from healing in new places -or- from new exercises. Not only did they fillet me like a trout, I also had a rib cut. But I was told to try & work thru the pain & that my doctor is comfortable with me still needing narcotic pain relievers 3 months post-op. They said they can't give a "average" healing time because there are so many versions & reasons for thoracotomy & so many levels of fitness & activity before and after the surgery. I'm still shooting to be back in the firehouse by labor day, but my doctor says that may not be realistic. Just thought I'd share the info with you all, if it helps..
For anyone still following this thread...
Update on my progress - have been totally off Rx meds since early August, and I also got clearance last week to return to work - no restrictions! - firefighting & rescue.
If I can do this after major surgery & losing 1/2 a lung ANYone can do it!
I won't say I don't have pain - that would be a lie - but I can function, and am determined to rise above it.
I'm sure the the exercises are a major part of my return, and I will have to continue to do them. But it's worth it!
Best of luck to anyone else fighting this battle! Stay strong.
So Happy to hear you are doing better. I had a lobectomy 11/06 at age 47 - no chemo or radiation. I took Rx medication for 4 months , the same as you, I was worried - then one day I didn't need the meds any more. It took me 1 year to feel 100% normal, no pain. I do sometimes get muscle spasms (I think that is what is it ) in the area of the surgery. Take care and keep updating.
I had a upper left lobectomy, chemo and radiation in 2009. I have improved 100%, however when I walk my dog and he pulls on his leash my breathing becomes labored and I have tightness in my chest. This also happens when I attempt to carry any weight greater than 10lbs while I am walking. I can no longer run or walk at a fast pace. Is this normal? Will it get better? I continue to take pain medications. I am 57 yo female.
I had a lower left lung lobectomy in September 2011. I was on pain meds, thinking I needed them, until Thanksgiving. I weaned for a couple days, began having withdrawals, and just quit them altogether. That was two more weeks of badness but I'm off them and clean. You should look into getting off the pain meds, especially if they are an opiate (like hydrocodone). They completely fog your brain and bring an all-around depression. You might not realize it while on them. I felt so much better once I got that out of my system. Still have some tightness and "nervy" discomfort around chest, but nothing that requires meds. I've heard anywhere from 3 months to a year on pain recovery. Good luck!
I had a lobectomy of my left lung, the lower lobe, on 17 November 2012, Chemo in December, and Radiation in March. I'm still having pain in my ribs, incision and back. I have some breathing problems also. I'm able to walk and do a little cardio but not like I used to do before surgery. The pain is off and on. It hurts to sneeze, yawn and cough. Some days are better than others. I'm glad to see I'm not alone in this fight.
It's been about 1 year now since I had a right side lower lobe lobectomy. I still feel pain in my chest in the front right side. when I get active. My body also heats up. I,m still wearing shorts and no t shirt due to the warmness of my body. When I walk at a brisk pace, my chest starts to tighten up. I still experience a brief spell of dizziness and blood pressure and pulse rate increase. Was 100% before surgery and now about 75% one year later. 63 year old male.
58 yr male, right upper lobe removed nov 2013.
i was very fit bloke pre surgery, working out at gym aerobically and with weights. it helped me a lot with handling the op and post recovery. i got back walking the day after discharge, little by little building up to a bit of a shuffle run and light weights. Now 4 months after op i can run slowly for 15 mins non stop and carry on for 1 to 1,1/2 hrs just walking. i'm also doing weights again but no more chin ups for a while as scared of tearing open my incision site….i think i'm probably just very lucky to be recovering so well but i do try very hard with fitness training and diet. i read all i can about my condition which has helped a lot. It taught me to take a protein supplement to help healing (not one of those gym rat ones full of crap, bobs red mill whey protein concentrate will do) i also have nerve pain across my lower ribs which i read is normal, it seems to be ever so slowly resolving but i take vitamin E because i read it helps repair nerve damage. I eat as much fruit and veg and nuts as i can, no hydrogenated oils, pastries, scary drinks etc…..post op i just could not seem to eat enough food to power my healing and activities so i supplemented my meals with a home made shake (banana, low fat milk, 2 or 3 scoops of "ensure" meal replacement, 1 tblr spoon of rolled oats, 1 tble spoon of hersheys unsweetened cocoa pwdr, all blended up in the blender) it helped with the energy levels but i still get these terrible energy crashes where i have to lay down as soon as i can and rest. it's more than normal tireless it feels like i have had everything sucked out of me like a deflated balloon….making sure i eat good food every 2 or 3 hours helps and as the weeks go by it seems to be getting a little better but still very draining.
what a lot of people don't realised is that your body has actually been poisoned by all the drugs they have given you (of course necessary and they save our lives) but they have lots of side effects, like interfering with vitamin absorption, digestion etc. So the sooner we can flush them out of our system the better….i also found eating chopped up fruit with some natural greek yoghurt after the op helped my stomach get back to normal quicker (it's the yoghurt that helps) i also drank 1 pint of ginger tea each evening, either hot or cold (home made, no milk or sugar)……i have been blessed to survive all this and have come a long way with my recovery but i think it's important to work on it hard.
my mate told me he was run over by a tractor wheel as a fit young man and had a collapsed lung . he said it took him over a year to recover and was still not feeling 100 percent for a long while even after …he says i am expecting too much to think i should be back to normal so fast…..i am starting to agree but still do all i can to speed the process….my sister gave me a lot of hope before my op when she told me our old family doctor lost a whole lung because of smoking as a young man. i never knew, he lived a full and productive life and always seemed completely normal, he had a large launch which he used to manage by himself and enjoyed fishing……ok well sorry to waffle on ,..i just hope this might helped some of you…..one thing i now know,..life may be short but it's wide…i'm trying to savour every bit of it every day
I had a lobectomy upper left lobe Dec 7 2015. I got off the pain meds shortly after I came home. I'm having lot of nerve pain and left arm is numb from elbow to hand just the bottom of arm. I'm taking gabapentin for nerve pain, a low dose but it doesn't seem to be helping. I'm 73 but active. Maybe I am too impatient for recovery. Any advice appreciated.
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