British Lung Foundation
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Muscle & nerve pain post pleurodesis

Hello, I'm a 36yr old non-smoking female and I sufferered a 100% spontenous pneumothorax last month. On 14th Oct I had pleurodesis, pleurectomy, stapling of blebs & tiny wedge of lung removed. 16 days post-op the follow up X-ray showed left lung back up to 100% and op successful, but whilst scars are healing nicely, 5 weeks on from op I have huge tightness in my left chest when I move my left arm and it is still painful to lie on either left or right side in bed. When I start to walk down the road I have this weird sensation as if something is pulling down on my lung from the inside and my lung is about to fall out. Weird, I know. And very uncomfortable. I'm such a long way from being able to jog or cycle.

Also parts of my chest are still numb to touch (e.g. beneath my breast) while parts hurt like heck to touch (nerve pain) making wearing a bra a non-starter.

Is this normal after 5 weeks? Am I too impatient? My consultant made it sound as if I should have been back to normal very rapidly after the stitches came out from the chest drain wound a few weeks ago. Whilst in hospital I was never offered any physio or given any advice as to any post-op stretching I should do.

Thank you for any help you can give!

6 Replies

Hi AllyJane, I'm so sorry to hear you are having such problems. I suggest you call the BLF Helpline (03000 030 555) tomorrow. I'm sure their expert nurses will be able to answer your questions and also advise you on what treatment and help you should be getting from your GP or consultant.

Best wishes, Annie


Thanks Annie, I'll give them a call for sure.


Hi allyjane. I had a lung wedge resection in august this year and it too me till the begining to of november to feel right again. I had the breathing problems and the doc prescribed me a nebuliser and carbastasine tablets for it. The muscle and lung pain are also normal for a lung resection. If in doubt see the doc. Everyone is different though i still get muacle and lung pain it may go it may not as its such a invasive operation. Dont over so it physically if you feel breathless or tight chested rest. If the nerve pain and muscle pain becomes unbarable as for a pain reliever and gabapenti for the nerve damage. Hope this helps and i hope you recover over the next few months. Hang in there and be patient.

1 like

Thank you. My GP has just prescribed Amitriptyline at night, to try to help me sleep, but 2 nights in I'm still yet to sleep through. I think I'm more in need of something for the nerve pain that I can take during the day so I can wear a bra in comfort and crack on with every day life better. I'll give it a bit more time though.


hi I had a bullectomy and pleurodesis done in 2013 because of a pneumothorax on left lung , I didn't have key hole surgery they cut from back under arm to front of chest 30 staples , but I still get the funny feelings in that side , numbness and it does hurt still to lay on that side , think a lot of it is to do with nerve damage when they cut me open , I think with you its still very early days after the op you just need more time for everything to heal up ,


Thank you for sharing your experience. It helps to hear what others have been through.


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