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recovery time for open lung biopsy
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recovery time for open lung biopsy

How long does it take to fully recover from this procedure.  I had this done 16 days ago with no complications and will be seeing my physician for the first time since the procedure next Monday.  I've been trying to do a little yard work in the mornings but I tire quickly and the pain in my back in horrible.  I hate taking the pain medication but after so long I can't help but take it.  Can anyone tell me how long this will last?  (the reason for the lung biopsy was to determine if some nodules on my lungs were sarcoidosis or if a melanoma had metastatized - the diagnosis was sarcoid).


This discussion is related to Open Lung Biopsy.
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Avatar_f_tn
I, too, had a open lung biopsy on Sept. 11 and have found the limitations and pain very difficult to deal with.  I also find that the amount of material or support seems non-existent.  I know I've brought my cat home from the vet's office with more instruction than I was given leaving the hospital.

The doctor's instruction to resume your life was so unclear.  A month after the procedure I am still very limited as to what I can do without pain and I have concern about being dependent on pain meds.

I would welcome hearing back from you as to how you are feeling now.  I was told six weeks of "recovery" would be normal.  I am 62 years old and the reason for the biopsy was to determine if the nodules found in a pet scan were either cancer (I was diagnosed with breast cancer almost five years ago!).  The good news is that the nodules werenot cancerous but the whole experience has left me feeling very isolated.

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Avatar_n_tn
I had an open lung biopsy two years ago at the age of 53 to determine the reason for fibrosing of the lungs and a permanent shortness of breath, it turned out to be an allergy.

I also was given very little information as to what recovery to expect.  It was a painful operation and recovery was a lot longer then they led me to believe. They said I would start to feel better after six weeks but it took me 3 months to be fully recovered.  I had no complications and the treatment I received at a major London hospital was excellent.   I know everyone is different but I still think they should prepare patients of what recovery and possible complications to expect.
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Avatar_f_tn
I just had open lung biopsy Dec 8 2009.  This is the real deal.  did not know what to expect.  Came out of this surgery, the pain was evil!  Put me on pain pump, vomiting.  I felt like the main character in a horror film. Left hospital 3 days later, felt horrible. Now its been over 2 weeks and the rib pain is very bad.  Just trying to take OTC stuff, but nothing really works.  Very limited around the house, hurts to even lift a coffee cup.  Can't work, I have a house cleaning business.  My husband has been doing all the shopping and cleaning.  I'm a very active person, run, ski, do long distance swimming.  Thought I had a bad cold in September, turned out to be Sarcoidosis, now on prednisone.  Don't know how long this will last but I felt pretty good several months ago, now I feel like I'm 105 years old.  The doctors did not tell me the whole story.  Now it's winter, I can't ski, can hardly drive the car.  Everything is such an effort and I was a person in pretty good shape.  Can't wait to get my life back!  Also will be cancelling ski trip to Utah in Feb 2010, can't ski with horrible rib pain.  The torture never stops with this!!  Good luck to anyone going for this, since this is my first experience in a hospital and first with surgery, this has been the worst experience of my life.
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Avatar_f_tn
Just an update, had procedure done Dec 8, now 7 weeks and still have rib pain, especially under left breast.  Cannot do much lifting.  Also on prednisone for Sarcoidosis, so that is limiting the healing also.  Still not feeling well, Doc says it the high dose of prednisone.  Just want my life back, the procedure was very painful.  I think this is going to take awhile, have a cleaning business, can't do it.  I've been doing alot of praying since I feel like I have dropped out of life.  I ski all winter and can't at all this 2010 season.  Doc says I'll feel better once he drops level of prednisone after Cat Scan Feb 9, I just hope he's right.  My first experience with a major illness, WHY ME??  
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Avatar_f_tn
I had an open lung biopsy approximately a month ago and am still in pain.  No one told me what to expect pre-op or post-op.  I attempted to go back to work (teaching) yesterday and became so weak, tired and had so much pain I had to return home after 4 hours.  I called my doctor and he said he does not want me on pain medication due to the disease process (I don't understand that either).  I am now in such terrible pain it is making me nauseated and I don't know what I am supposed to do about it.  I feel like I have been in a nightmare for the last 2 months and I am ready to wake up.  I was finally diagnosed as having pulmonary fibrosis so I needed the procedure but I never expected this.  I also found that there is no support after this procedure and it seems that the doctors don't even know how painful and frustrating it is after this surgery.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks to all who posted previously. After reading your posts, I'm thinking there isn't something horribly wrong since I still have significant pain 13 days after surgery. The first days were worse until the chest tube came out. After that I was ok with the level of pain and taking just ibuprofen. I was tempted to not even fill the oxycodone script, but did at the doc's recommendation.

Everything was ok until I tried to do normal things like shopping a week after surgery. The pain has stayed with me. Walking definitely makes it
worse. It's centered at the lower right rib in front and extends from my sternum to my side where the chest tube was. Mostly I have a superstitial, hypersensitivity pain of the whole area, but sometimes it's deeper stabbing pain. Ibuprofen does liitle to help. Oxycodone does help.  

Before surgery the surgeon told me that in 1-1 1/2 weeks I would feel like nothing had happened. Previous posters were right when they said docs may not have a clue. To make matters worse, I tried calling his office for advice yesterday (day before Thanksgiving holiday), labeled my call for urgent delivery, but didn't get a call back yet. The visiting nurse isn't too concerned, so maybe it will pass soon.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Everyone,

I had an open lung biopsy on July 23, 2010 at the age of 26.  I spent 6 days in the hospital because I had an air leak and the chest tube could not be removed.  While at the hospital I had an epideral that was left in my back, this made the pain very bearable.  Once I came home, my surgeon told me to take my pain medicine regularly.  He said if I didn't I would be in terrible pain.  He also said not to lift anything over 5 pounds with the side that the surgery was performed on.  I followed his advice and it took about a month before I could perform normal activities and another 2 weeks before I felt 100%.  I was diagnosed with AV malformation and am so glad that I had the surgery.  I haven't felt this good in a really long time.

Give yourself time to recover and definitely take your pain pills.  Hopefully in about 1 month from the surgery you will feel better.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a lung biopsy done on Dec. 21, 2011. they removed a core from upper lower lobe of the left lung and also removed tissue from my lymph knob, Its not been yet a month I have read your post and thank you all. I thought I was big baby. I would like to know if any of you have had a clicking in the left lung? it is a very strange feeling.
Thank you all.
Carole
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a lung biopsy done on Dec. 21, 2011. they removed a core from upper lower lobe of the left lung and also removed tissue from my lymph knob, Its not been yet a month I have read your post and thank you all. I thought I was big baby. I would like to know if any of you have had a clicking in the left lung? it is a very strange feeling.
Thank you all.
Carole
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Avatar_m_tn
Im sorry to hear that you are going through this.  I am going to have a lung biopsy soon to find out what the scarring in my lungs is.  I am hoping for the best.  How are you doing with your disease.  I dont intend to be intrusive, Im just scared and would like someone to talk to about it.

Steve
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Steve,
I have just returned from the hospital from an open lung biopsy, the procedure was performed March 14,2012. They took samples from the upper, middle, and lower right lobe, as well as a piece from the edge of my right lobe. I didnt know much about an open lung biopsy and thought it would be easy like some of the other biopsys I have had. It took about 2 hours and I have had a bit more pain than I expected. However, I feel like it is the best type of lung biopsy to determine what is causing the scarring and other issues I have been having.
Yesterday I only took pain medicine  2 times and the pain is much better now on day 3, I have not taken any pain medicine today except for 800 mg ibuprofin. I wish you the best of luck with your biopsy and if I can answer any questions please let me know.
Bobbi
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Avatar_m_tn
I had open lung biopsy on June 5, 2012, (last Tuesday).  I'm not in much pain but have a lot of soreness and only hurt when I sneeze or move quickly.  I was taking pain med but it was making me feel really crappy so I switched to ibuprofren, much better.  I had a nodule removed that they thought was cancerous but wasn't and then they diagosed it as a AFB bacteria, thought it was TB but wasn't.  Just waiting to hear from other reports.  Have a hard time breathing.Sometime can't catch my breath for several seconds.  Not sure it's helped me much because this all started because I was short on breath and had pressure in middle of my chest.  Let me know if anyone is like me.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had an open lung biopsy on Sept. 11, 2012 and just like all of the other posts, I was told by the surgeon I would be off work at least a week. Almost 4 months later I am still having pain. It's not as bad as it was for the first 3 months but when I try to do things {shower, vacuum, etc} I have a pain and the only way to describe it is kind of like a pressure pain. The only restrictions they gave me was not to lift anything over 10 pounds. The company that handles our short term disability was trying to make me go back to work before my release date as long as my work could have me do anything that would not require me to lift anything under 10 pounds. I called the surgeon's office to see if he would give me more restrictions as I knew I would not be able to do the work. He advised me if I was having so much pain the only thing he could do was refer me to pain management. I feel like I was mislead from the get go. How can so many of these biopsies be done and they still think you should not be in any pain after a week? My diagnosis is sarcoidosis and the environment where I work is so dusty that I am not allowed to return to my job. I had been having shortness of breath for a while now and just thought it was due to being out of shape and overweight. For the last four months since I have not been able to return to work, I have noticed that I can't do a whole lot of anything without being out of breath. I think that if anyone who has to have this procedure done should be told the truth about how long the pain usually lasts. A co-worker of mine said that they probably don't tell you the truth because if you really knew how long you would be off work that you more than likely would not have it done. I would like to hear any input from anyone who has had this done and if there is any type of support group for people in this situation. Thank You
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Avatar_m_tn
I had my biopsy done june 21, 2013 and now its been 6 weeks later and out of 5 incisions done on my left lung 4 have heal and 1 is still slightly open where the tube went in.  I have tried 2 weeks already to go back to work and the first day came right back home due to this pain on the left side of my body that leave you feeling like your skin is being stretched so far.  I hate that I'm on such a high dose of predisone, hate that my mother died of pulmonary fibrosis in 8/2005 and was told then that it wasn't hiereditary but now I had my bioposy and it seems that my sister is also having issues related to her lungs and is starting the process.  I to being in the mental health therapy field and substance abuse was very scared to take the pain medication but it's the only thing that gives you release but sometimes it feels as if it's only a temporary fix.  I'm happy though that I did have the biopsy because I now know i have UIP and not pulmonary fibrosis and have started to look at my life in a different aspect enjoying every minute.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello, I had an open lung biopsy last August, 2013 and I am still experiencing a whole lot of pain on my left front chest. I replied on your note since we have a similar experience in regards to skin stretching and it has been over 6 weeks of my surgery and I still experience the pain like I was stub and the stretching of the skin which I still feel a lot. My question for you is, did the stretching of your skin finally went away? You can email me directly at ***@****. I just hit replied from your note and not sure that if you answered my question that I will be able to read it. Thank you so much.
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