Lung Volume Reduction Surgery

Only joined the forum two days ago and this is my first post, hope someone is interested enough to reply.

Two months ago had a pneumothorax of the left lung. The lung didn't re-inflate with a drain tube in place for over a week and a CT scan showed both lungs to be be damaged by emphysema, hence the lung not re-inflating. After being transferred to University Hospital of North Staffs I was operated on and had about 25 or 30% of my left lung removed, that was six weeks ago. Is there anyone else who has had a similar history to myself on any of the forums who would be willing to converse with me as to what to expect after such surgery.

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12 Replies

  • Hello Stitch, thanks for replying so quickly. Had the operation 6 weeks ago today and came round connected to 2 drain tubes (the bags are not pleasant to look at I may add), after 3 days the 2 drains came out and a singular Medula drain was inserted. After 3 days this came out and I went home after 19 days in 2 hospitals....what a relief. Feeling okay although the left breast and armpit and top of left arm are numb and very sensitive to touch. Saw the surgeon 2 weeks ago and he told me this is perfectly normal but can take a long time for the nerve damage to repair itself, if it ever does!! He also asked me how I felt about having the right lung reduced as that is damage at the bottom..... I said I would wait and see how the first op' goes. With regard to walking, I just take it easy and go at my own pace, problem was I used to be fast walker so now I slow down so that I don't get breathless. Reading some of these posts on here I am not doing too bad I think but it is early days as yet so I will keep you posted. Since my surgery I have lost my cough which I am pleased about and also my hands are not blue anymore across the knuckles when they get cold and the Reynards I had in 3 fingers of my left hand has disappeared. Can't say I would recommend the surgery Stitch but if it has to be done then so be it and go for it, I am sure and sincerely hope you would feel better for it as I do.

  • I agree with stitch .. yer there are loads on here going threw or been there and are all very helpfull dispite there illness and how the feeling.

    Hope you feeling better cheers al the best.

  • Thanks Daz for replying, just replied to Stitch so have a read. Hope you feel better too.

  • Hi cheers glad things have gone well .. have heard is major op

    My own lung doc as hinted at lvrs but said he would not like or be doing it .. so dont know what he means by that .. but if like you say needs must then so be it.

    anyway cheers al the best

  • Sorry Stitch, didn't mean to put the wind up you.

    To be honest I was glad of anything to relieve the pain and lack of breath around my left lung due to the spontaneous pneumothorax. Both pain and breathlessness (and my cough) disappeared once the drain was inserted and I felt much better. Unfortunately I had no option but to have the LVRS as the lung wouldn't re-inflate under normal treatment. I was scared stiff I can tell you when they told me, but only my second time in hospital in my life (I'm 66) and got to have a major operation. The surgeon told me there was a 1% chance things could turn out badly so with odds like that I thought lets give it a go. As I say Stitch, I had little choice really, hopefully you may have more options, but if you have to have LVRS, I would say don't worry too much, 99% success rate are the kind of odds I like. Not sure how I'll be if the right lung has to be done as that probably and hopefully won't have collapsed so the op' will just be to remove the damaged area which is at the bottom apparently, it was the top on my left lung. The surgery I had for LVRS by the way was keyhole (haven't mentioned that before) 3 small holes under the left armpit area, 2 to pass tools through and 1 for the camera to go down, also there is a 50mm incision around my left shoulder blade area where the damaged lung was removed from. The surgeon was quite honest and told me he does that for HIS convenience as it it easier to pull the dead tissue through the bigger hole...charming eh but makes sense I suppose.

    Hope I've not frightened you any further as I am trying to reassure you, just in case you have to have it done.

  • Glad you're not too upset by my reply. I will be honest now, that thought crossed my mind about how much extra time, but I just didn't have the courage to ask, in case it was something I wouldn't like to hear, sad I know. Sorry for being an ostrich Stitch!!

  • Hi John

    Glad the op turned out to be positive for you.

    I had a left lower lobectomy when I was aged 15. I don't think my experience would be of help really as it was 50 years ago now and there was no such thing as keyhole then, so they had to move a rib and we were left with a huge scar. I don't think they would do the op today as my bronch was and is scattered throughout both lungs. They did talk about doing the right lung but this was not done. They appear to only do surgery for bronchiectasis now if it is located in one area. I have no way of knowing if the op was a positive thing or not.

    Obviously your operation was for a very different reason and I hope whatever you and your medics decide about your right lung you will find very beneficial.

    love cx

  • Thanks for your reply, wow 50 years ago, how different are things today. I have 3 holes about 10mm diameter in the side of my chest and one cut on my back about 50mm long to show for my trouble. I shall get over the first op' and then see the medics about the right lung and take it from there. Thanks also for your kind wishes and I wish the same for you. John

  • Great post. Did you know what your lung function was before the op and after? Great to hear that all is going in the right direction look forward to more of your posts.

    Be Well


  • Hello Offcut, someone came to do a lung function just before my operation and they realised quickly I had a hole in my lung where the air had escaped causing the lung to collapse and decided that procedure was a waste of time. Although I still have discomfort from the op' (mainly nerve damage) my lung does actually feel more efficient than prior to the collapse so fingers crossed. Thanks for taking the trouble to reply and I wish you all the best, John.

  • Hi John and welcome

    I don't have a similar history to yourself but I just wanted to say welcome and thank you for posting, I have found the information on this post, very informative and gives an understanding from your own experiences.

    If you put Lung Volume Reduction Surgery in search box top right, you will likely find other posts and help you to make contact with others who have a similar history to yourself.

    Best wishes to you.


  • Thanks for that, just tried it and found several links to LVRS. Glad you found the post informative.

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