Lobectomy scheduled—What kind of home help will I need?

Posted by onestepatatime @onestepatatime, Feb 16 9:08am

I’m scheduled for a laparoscopic robotic lobectomy in a few weeks. I’ve gotten mixed answers about aftercare from my surgeon and someone who had similar surgery more than 10 years ago. The surgeon thinks I’ll be released the day after the surgery and be able to drive myself home without help. The former patient thinks I’ll need help at home for a week. If you had this surgery, did you need help with showering & dressing? Were you able to fix simple meals & load the dishwasher? I’m right-handed and half of my right lung will be removed. I’ve thought about checking into assisted living for a few weeks after surgery, but it would be an out-of-pocket expense. I’m a senior citizen who lives alone in a rural area about an hour away from a hospital.

@onestepatatime– Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I know how you must feel and I'm here to walk you through this. Operations are very scary, to begin with, but having plans for your recuperation are as important and will ease your mind. When you first wake up the nurse will have to remove the hose that was attached to your incubator. You might sleep through it. Your first breath will be difficult because a machine was breathing for you. Don't panic. It will take a few days for it to become easier. You will be given some exercises and it's important to do them, even if it's hard, to help prevent pneumonia.

Laparoscopic surgery is much easier on your body than the open chest surgery that I had for my 2 lobectomies. Aftercare and recuperation are very similar though. You might have pain and need pain pills, so don't plan on driving for a while as your reaction time won't be up to par. It takes a few days for anesthesia to wear off. And you will be tired, very tired. You should be able to shower and dress by yourself. I think that your idea of checking into a rehab center for a week or so is brilliant. They'll be able to get you back on your feet and give you stretching exercises to help.

You have the right to have clear, concise answers from your doctor. If you still have questions make sure to write them down and call his office and get answers.

Despite the type of instruments that will be used on you removing a lobe of your lung changes the geography of your chest and you will be pretty much mending for a while.

Can I help with any other questions? What kind of lung cancer do you have?

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I had l upper lung lobe removed and partial l lower lobe removed on 12/18/20. The surgeon tried doing it using the robot but had to switch to open method because of scarring from radiation. This has been a difficult recovery, finally 8 weeks later I am feeling much better. I had mets to lungs from colorectal cancer. In 2017 I had a small area of mets removed from both lungs, wedge resection, using robot. That was a much easier recovery. With the surgery on 12/18/20 I was in the hospital 2 nights. Laparoscopic surgery should be easier than open surgery, but I think you will need help. You mentioned you are a senior, are you eligible for homecare? I was able to shower and dress myself. We planned easy meals such as store bought rotisserie chicken. Personally I think someone else should drive you home and you will need help at least for 1 week or maybe 2. I needed pain medicine with both surgeries, much less with robotic surgery. They don’t advise driving while on pain meds. Could you talk to a social worker or discharge specialist where you are going for surgery? They can help you understand what your options are. I hope you do well, keep us updated.

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@merpreb

@onestepatatime– Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I know how you must feel and I'm here to walk you through this. Operations are very scary, to begin with, but having plans for your recuperation are as important and will ease your mind. When you first wake up the nurse will have to remove the hose that was attached to your incubator. You might sleep through it. Your first breath will be difficult because a machine was breathing for you. Don't panic. It will take a few days for it to become easier. You will be given some exercises and it's important to do them, even if it's hard, to help prevent pneumonia.

Laparoscopic surgery is much easier on your body than the open chest surgery that I had for my 2 lobectomies. Aftercare and recuperation are very similar though. You might have pain and need pain pills, so don't plan on driving for a while as your reaction time won't be up to par. It takes a few days for anesthesia to wear off. And you will be tired, very tired. You should be able to shower and dress by yourself. I think that your idea of checking into a rehab center for a week or so is brilliant. They'll be able to get you back on your feet and give you stretching exercises to help.

You have the right to have clear, concise answers from your doctor. If you still have questions make sure to write them down and call his office and get answers.

Despite the type of instruments that will be used on you removing a lobe of your lung changes the geography of your chest and you will be pretty much mending for a while.

Can I help with any other questions? What kind of lung cancer do you have?

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Thank you!!

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@lindabradley42

I had l upper lung lobe removed and partial l lower lobe removed on 12/18/20. The surgeon tried doing it using the robot but had to switch to open method because of scarring from radiation. This has been a difficult recovery, finally 8 weeks later I am feeling much better. I had mets to lungs from colorectal cancer. In 2017 I had a small area of mets removed from both lungs, wedge resection, using robot. That was a much easier recovery. With the surgery on 12/18/20 I was in the hospital 2 nights. Laparoscopic surgery should be easier than open surgery, but I think you will need help. You mentioned you are a senior, are you eligible for homecare? I was able to shower and dress myself. We planned easy meals such as store bought rotisserie chicken. Personally I think someone else should drive you home and you will need help at least for 1 week or maybe 2. I needed pain medicine with both surgeries, much less with robotic surgery. They don’t advise driving while on pain meds. Could you talk to a social worker or discharge specialist where you are going for surgery? They can help you understand what your options are. I hope you do well, keep us updated.

Jump to this post

Thank you Linda. I have made a list of questions to ask a social worker. May your healing continue.

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