Pain after right thoracotomy with tracheoplasty

Posted by Bill H @billh, Sep 3, 2016

I had surgery on April 11, 2016 and was treated for tracheobroncomalacia. The surgery improved my breathing significantly and eliminated the chronic cough I experienced along with shortness of breath. I had pain in my right shoulder. I received Celebrex and lidocaine patches which cleared up the pain about 60 days after surgery. I am no approaching my 120 day mark after surgery and am experiencing pain in my right shoulder and arm again. I tried heat and Tylenol with only very temporary relief. The Celebrex is helping. Is this normal? How long will I have this pain.

Hi @billh, I can imagine the ongoing pain is disconcerting.
I’m tagging other Connect members who have had a thoracotomy. @yoanne @lynnkay1956 can you share with Bill your recovery?
Bill, you mentioned that Celebrex and lidocaine “cleared up the pain about 60 days after surgery” but now you’re experiencing pain recurring pain? Can you explain a bit more?

Liked by Bill H

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@colleenyoung

Hi @billh, I can imagine the ongoing pain is disconcerting.
I’m tagging other Connect members who have had a thoracotomy. @yoanne @lynnkay1956 can you share with Bill your recovery?
Bill, you mentioned that Celebrex and lidocaine “cleared up the pain about 60 days after surgery” but now you’re experiencing pain recurring pain? Can you explain a bit more?

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@billh, hello!
as colleen already wrote, I had a mini-thoracotomy, i.e. a small right anterior incision through the 3rd or 4th interspace.this is the minimal-invasive approach for a mitral valve repair. no sternotomy is necessary. I’m quite sure, that your operation was different.I can only speak for myself, I got severe pain at my right side 4 days after operation .they gave me strong painkillers (which one I don’t know) , 3 days later I had no pain anymore. a few days after leaving the hospital I suddenly felt pain at my right shoulder ,upper arm, and armpit. that lasted 2 weeks.I had serious problems by using the arm. and suddenly this severe pain disappeared. presumably a nerve was injured or irritated by the operation.
so, I’m sorry I can’t help you, your situation is very different from mine.

Liked by Bill H

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@colleenyoung

Hi @billh, I can imagine the ongoing pain is disconcerting.
I’m tagging other Connect members who have had a thoracotomy. @yoanne @lynnkay1956 can you share with Bill your recovery?
Bill, you mentioned that Celebrex and lidocaine “cleared up the pain about 60 days after surgery” but now you’re experiencing pain recurring pain? Can you explain a bit more?

Jump to this post

The incision is about 16″ going from near my spine on the right side all the way under the armpit.  The pain is a feeling of fullness in my shoulder and a dull ache.  It was good thru June until about a week ago. When the pain became more severe and travels into my right palm and the right two ring and little fingers.  That pain is an ache that Tylenol will not work sufficiently.  The hot humid Summer air has not helped especially with the weather changes.  This past week the pain in my shoulder is much worse and seems to be aggravated when I do things like type on the PC. I tried heat which did not do all that much nor did the lidocane patch.  So I went back to the Celebrex which has helped but not entirely.  I have to be careful with Celebrex because I have asthma and am known to have wheezing with other NSAIDs.  Many years ago, I took Vioxx for a pain issue which worked but I only took it for 3 days.  I do not want to be on the Celebrex long.  Perhaps I need to see my surgeon or see if they can refer me to a pain specialist.    Bill

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@colleenyoung

Hi @billh, I can imagine the ongoing pain is disconcerting.
I’m tagging other Connect members who have had a thoracotomy. @yoanne @lynnkay1956 can you share with Bill your recovery?
Bill, you mentioned that Celebrex and lidocaine “cleared up the pain about 60 days after surgery” but now you’re experiencing pain recurring pain? Can you explain a bit more?

Jump to this post

I wholeheartedly agree with your last sentence Bill. If you haven’t reported this new pain to your surgeon, I recommend you do that asap. If you can get a referral to a pain specialist, all the better.

Liked by Bill H

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Hi @billh, I can imagine the ongoing pain is disconcerting.
I’m tagging other Connect members who have had a thoracotomy. @yoanne @lynnkay1956 can you share with Bill your recovery?
Bill, you mentioned that Celebrex and lidocaine “cleared up the pain about 60 days after surgery” but now you’re experiencing pain recurring pain? Can you explain a bit more?

Jump to this post

Thank you. I will do that

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@colleenyoung

Hi @billh, I can imagine the ongoing pain is disconcerting.
I’m tagging other Connect members who have had a thoracotomy. @yoanne @lynnkay1956 can you share with Bill your recovery?
Bill, you mentioned that Celebrex and lidocaine “cleared up the pain about 60 days after surgery” but now you’re experiencing pain recurring pain? Can you explain a bit more?

Jump to this post

Let us know what you find out, please.

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Is there any current information with people who have had a mini thoracotomy and unbearable pain in right shoulder and arm. The arm feeling numb, like it has a sleeve on it and very sensitive to touch. Also, what kinds of things helped with the pain and how long did the pain last after the surgery. Thanks

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I am
Sorry to hear about your pain. I do understand as I had VATS Surgery to remove a tumor and my upper left lung lobe. I would like to share my success to being pain free.
I was in a three month research study where with meditation and paced breathing with my diaphragm
this practice taught me how to change my brain and help heal my severe pain.
You may find one of The books by Dr Amit Sood most helpful. Happiness is my favorite books by him.
Remember it takes time and practice but you can retrain your brain to overcome the pain battle. I pace breath with my diaphragm and now bicycle 13 miles a day.i also run races. I believe you can learn how to become more comfortable after the pain you are going thru
Best

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