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What to expect following Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)?

Posted by @grammapat in Lung Health, Oct 4, 2012

Am scheduled to have a wedge biopsy done by VATS..wonder if anyone has had this and can tell me what to expect? Pain? Recovery time? Change in lifestyle? hungry for knowledge on this procedure. Thank you.

Tags: lung conditions


Posted by @dixer, Jan 22, 2016

I had Vats surgery twice this year at Colorado University. I had the left lingula removed then the second surgery a month later was for the r middle lobe. I had a quick recovery time so a biopsy should be a little easier. I was in the hospital 3 days for the r middle lobe and 2 for the left. After 4 days I was able to fly home. After one month I was almost pain free. Good luck to you.


Posted by @rebeccamcroberts, Jan 22, 2016

Hi @dixer, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Thanks for sharing your experience, I'm glad to hear you had a relatively easy recovery. I'm one of the community managers here and we're working to connect users with other people who have had a similar experience. I'd like to add your post to a more active thread - can you tell us a little more about why you needed the surgery?


Posted by @dixer, Jan 23, 2016

I was diagnosed with Mac on and off with remission , bronchiectasis and
last year with M abscessus/ Due to being on so many meds for so long , off
then back on,the mac became resistant to many of the meds When my
infectious disease Dr basically gave up on me, I turned to UF Shands in
Gainesville. I was placed on Iv amikacin along with rifampin, ethambutol
and azithromycin with a recommendation for surgery through National Jewish
and Colorado University. I went for a few months on inhaled amikacin then
had my left lingula removed in Feb of 2015. My r middle lobe removed on
June 30th.


Posted by @colleenyoung, Jan 23, 2016

@dixer Have you seen the active discussion thread about MAC?

Mycobacterium avium complex pulmonary disease (MAC/MAI)

@katemn started it several years ago and keeps it going. Hope to see you over there.

Connect Community Director


Posted by @katemn, Jan 23, 2016

dIxer, this is katemn,
My heart absolutely goes out to you! PLEASE do check out the Connect link shown above by Colleen Young. I have found SO much good information on this discussion thread .. PLUS such nice supportive people! You absolutely will not be sorry if you read through the thread .. and then start writing. You will find a community of people who are in the same boat .. PLUS care about you.

For myself .. you will read that I was on 4 antibiotics for 30 months with two mycobacteriums .. including the M abscessus .. I also have Bronchiectasis plus Reactive Airway Disease .. and am waiting to hear if I have to go back on the antibiotics.. Not a pretty picture BUT i travel .. have fun in life and fully intend to live each day to the fullest! Attitude of gratitude .. many others have it so much worse!

Again, please do check out the link to the discussion .. it is a good one!


Posted by @dixer, Jan 24, 2016

Hi Katem

I have been going to the Team inspire website thru American lung. There two
are numerous people with Mac. I have rec'd a lot of nfo from them. I too am
much more fortunate then most. I never really felt ill. just very tired. I
have never had any weight loss issues and when I went to National Jewish I
felt like I didn't belong, the other patients were so thin and ill. Since
the surgery, I have much more energy and can walk up to 3 miles. I am now
awaiting the final results of my bronchoscopy of 11/30. Should be the end
of this month. It is a slow growing bacteria so can take up to 8 weeks.
Once I am clear have another year on these meds. I have been fortunate with
them as many have side effects including vision loss and stomach issues. I
did get some change in my hearing from the amikacen
but I stopped it. That can also happen from ethambutol but can't stop that
yet. Just continue to get hearing and eye exams.
I almost feel guilty when I read some of these posts. when others are
having such a difficult time. I truly believe though that mind over matter
plays an important part which is why I healed so quickly from the surgery.
f you have not tried the inspire web site, I really recommend it.
Good luck to you in your travels


Posted by @katemn, Jan 25, 2016

Hello Dixer, I so agree with much of what you have said! I also am on the
Inspire website. I feel "knowledge is power" so have sought out all the
information I could find. Good for you that you have done the same! Keep
up the positive attitude!
* Katherine*

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