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British Lung Foundation
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Lung operation really scared

Hey all, basically I have been told I have cysts on both lungs which need to be removed in order to stop getting a pneumothorax had two collapsed lungs already in space of a year same side. They are going to remove the cysts then staple something inside apparently which will allow the lung wall to stick stopping any more collapses hopefully, I am absolutely terrified regarding this procedure in particular the chest drain or drains that will be inserted, is the pain really really bad when the drains are in / removed? I cannot sleep currently with worry and fear?

Thanks for your advice all

15 Replies

Dear Liberthine

I had both lower lobes of my lungs removed when I was a child over 50 years ago !!! when things were nowhere near as good as they are now ...each op was 6 months apart...I awoke with drains...coming out and drips and oxygen etc etc ....but pain was not a major factor...as even then they did have drugs that dulled the pain

I wont say it was a pleasant experience, but nowhere near as bad as you think it will be

The drains coming out of the lungs , were painless....so do not worry about them......my scars were large ( they do much smaller ones nowadays)

If it will make you better than I would say be brave and go straight ahead

The discomfort will be worth it

Good luck

Love Sohara


Thank you for your comments it helps a little to know the drains coming out we're not as bad as I am fearing them to be. I am just an anxious person with everything

Thank you again


Thank you flibberti


I agree with flibberti - call the helpline and I am sure they will help you xxxx

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Hi Liberthine

I haven't had the op you are about to have, although I did have a lobectomy aged 15 in 1963 and I can say in all honesty that there was no pain at all when the drains were removed.

I agree with others to call BLF for more information and reassurance re your op.

Wishing you well and please let us know how you get on.

Love cx

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I will do thank you scheduled to go in end of January, so nervous about this x


Hi Liberthine, I'm sorry to hear you're so afraid. I have no experience of your coming op but great replies above.

Perhaps you could work on your fear in the coming weeks. Stress is so bad for any health condition and can be inhibiting in so many ways.

If you could regularly practice deep breathing a few times a day it would really help you to lessen the fear, live a less stressful life and perhaps look forward to better health when you've healed.

There are some clips of relaxation breathing on YouTube, you only have to do it or five minutes a few times a day.

I wish I could show you, it's such a good way to aid healing and promote calm. :-) thinking of you xxx


Thank you. I'll definitely look up relaxing techniques on you tube it can only help. It sucks being a tall slim male hence the collapsing lungs, people can be cruel with comments about health and looks just because i do not fit into this modern society looking like a beefcake taking supplements every day etc, just frustrates me

I really appreciate everyone's advice and kind comments this has definitely been of some help to me x

1 like

Very pleased you'll give it a go. I can now take myself to another place - for ie in the dentist chair, the only place I feel afraid.

I shall also be looking up the DVD mentioned on another post re exercises for lung people.

BTW Beefcakes? Yuk,


Hello Liberthine, you have been given good advise above so all I will say is try and keep calm, stay positive and have a relaxing and happy Christmas. Keep us informed. You will be in my thoughts.


Thank you Suzy x


Hi Liberthine,you have been given some good advice.

I realy don't have anything to add.Try & keep positive,as it will be so much better for you,the relaxing DVDs etc.are a good way to help yourself.Panic only stresses your body & mind.

Have a great Xmas,& please try to relax! We will be thinking of you,do pop back,& let us know how you are going! xxx


I had 2 chest drains for a month and to honest at the time I was not overly disturbed by them. I also had a wire thing on the inside of my lungs that moved the gunk and then they vac'ed it up.

I have a strange anaesthetic tolerance. They wear out quicker than they do with most people. I have woke up in an operation on 2 separate times (tends to frighten the doctors more than me :) )


Hi I had a Pleuradesis when I was 21 not a problem and had 50% of my right lung removed 8 years ago in Guys the problems weren't connected but I have got to go back to Guys on wednesday to see the Oncology department. the Ops weren't too bad. You don't say which hospital you are going too.


Try not to be too anxious - easily said! I had a VATS Lung Biopsy in Jan this year and was terrified, but as with most ops, the drain was put in whilst under anaesthetic so I didn't know anything about it. As for taking the drain out - painless, honestly. Just a quick hold of the breath for 3/4 seconds and it's out before you know it.

A day after having the drain out, my lung collapsed which of course meant having another drain put in - this time whilst I was conscious!! Not such a pleasant experience as when out of it... I wouldn't say it was painful, more uncomfortable than anything, but once it was in it was ok. Yes you sometimes feel like you've got a knife stuck in there, but it doesn't last long.... you'll be fine, promise :-)


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