VATS in Denver

Posted by busybeans @busybeans, May 3 2:04pm

Has anyone had VATS in Denver who lives out-of-state? How did you manage the logistics? I have NTM (kansasii) and bronchiectasis, but the major issue at hand is a cavitary nodule in my left upper lobe that needs to be removed. My NJH doctor wants it done by a surgeon there. I live in another state and can't quite figure out how to do recovery and follow-ups without moving there for a month. If you've done this and could share your experience, I would appreciate it. Thanks, Busy

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I am in an almost exact same situation. But I do live in Colorado but it is a messy 2 hour drive to Denver. Dr Mitchell at Anschutz will do the surgery but I have postponed it for another opinion due to the fact that Dr Eddy wants me on Amikacin IV for 4 weeks before and 2 weeks after even though I no longer have tested positive for MAC but have tested positive for Fungal/Aspergillis. I had 2 very bad experiences with Amikacin when I did have MAC 4 years ago. Let us know how things go.

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I'm sympathetic, and don't have a good answer. I live on the East Coast and had a pneumonectomy in Denver last summer. I was there three plus weeks, one in hospital and 2 at the home of a very generous friend. Even with that, a cousin had to fly out to accompany me flying home. VATS will be less time in the hospital and less recovery, I would hope. I have to say that the care at UC hospital with Dr Mitchell's team was superb, and NJH was very responsive with follow up care. I did Amikaicin4 weeks prior and 4 weeks post but I had active MAC infection. Although I think it was the right call for my surgery the logistics were not easy and I was lucky to have generous friends.

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@camper16

I'm sympathetic, and don't have a good answer. I live on the East Coast and had a pneumonectomy in Denver last summer. I was there three plus weeks, one in hospital and 2 at the home of a very generous friend. Even with that, a cousin had to fly out to accompany me flying home. VATS will be less time in the hospital and less recovery, I would hope. I have to say that the care at UC hospital with Dr Mitchell's team was superb, and NJH was very responsive with follow up care. I did Amikaicin4 weeks prior and 4 weeks post but I had active MAC infection. Although I think it was the right call for my surgery the logistics were not easy and I was lucky to have generous friends.

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Thanks Chris. Although our situations are a bit different, it's good to know that it is do-able. Dr Mitchell is also the surgeon I will be using so I'm happy to hear that you thought the care was superb. I really appreciate your response, and I hope that you are fully recovered from the surgery.

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Thanks, Busy. You know, I was almost more anxious about the logistics then I was about the surgery, so I know how you feel. I didn't mention I also had a friend travel up from Arizona and stay the whole week I was in the hospital. I couldn't have done it without a lot of help. I was having Amikacin infusion M,W,F post-hospital at NJH. Even though it meant a trip over there it meant I saw the nurse every other day which was very reassuring for me. Flights are difficult because it's hard to know when you will be ok to leave. My Dr said plan on 3 weeks from surgery and I didn't believe it and booked too early and had to change. I wish you the best of luck. My surgery went well as far as MAC goes: my remaining lung is clear and I have fewer symptoms. The people I know who have had VATS have recovered well.

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Gosh, you nailed it Chris. I AM more anxious about the logistics than the surgery! Your information though has eased my mind (as much as that's possible) so I sincerely appreciate the details. I'm pretty active and have never had to use 02. Knowing that others have recovered well is reassuring. Thank you – BIG TIME!

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Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to diagnose and treat problems in the chest. During a VATS procedure, a tiny camera and surgical tools are inserted into the chest through one or more small cuts in the chest wall. I didn't know what it was when it was first mentioned. I wish I STILL didn't know what it is!

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