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Thank you for sharing your experience. I had RAT surgery, removed lower right lobe. Cancer was contained in the lobe. I wonder why the fluid buildup occurred? I hope getting fluid removal doesn't become a regular need! Fluid was found at my 4 week post -op xray. The xray 4 days after surgery showed no fluid – that's when the chest drain was removed. So much to learn, everyone's experiences are quite helpful!

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Replies to "Thank you for sharing your experience. I had RAT surgery, removed lower right lobe. Cancer was..."

They only related to me that some fluid is totally normal due to the surgery. Once the chest drain is removed, it has to accumulate until the body normally and gradually expels it.
When they do the thoracentesis and test, they'll have to answer your questions. Then they'll decide how to watch you in the future. Anyway, that's from my experience.


There are three different approaches that your surgeon can use to remove part of your lung: VATS, RATS, and thoracotomy. VATS stands for Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery. RATS stands for Robotic-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery. A thoracotomy is a larger incision made between the ribs, requiring rib spreading. A VATS and RATS approach are both considered to be minimally invasive with small incision sites made.

For those of you confused by all the different acronyms for lung lobe removal here is a good explanation:
Lung resection is the removal of a part or entire lobe of your lung. There are different ways that a lung resection surgery can be performed.

There is more than one reason for fluid to build up in your lungs after surgery.
Fluid around the lung (pleural effusion) is one. Pleural effusion occurs when fluid builds up in the space between the lung and the chest wall. This can happen for many different reasons, including pneumonia or complications from heart, liver, or kidney disease. Another reason could be a side effect of cancer.

Pulmonary edema describes when fluid builds up in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Most often, the buildup of fluid is caused by a pressure imbalance within the heart, but other causes can also send excess fluid to the lungs. If the fluid is arriving at a faster rate than the lungs can clear it, parts will fill, making it difficult—if not impossible—for the lungs to take in oxygen and deliver it to the rest of the body, as they are meant to do.

Did your doctor explain to you what he thought caused your need for the drain? Was it painful when they put it in?