British Lung Foundation
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Lung volume reduction surgery

Hi everyone, I'm scheduled to have LVRS in June, and I'm wondering if anyone has gone through this, what benefits there were, and what the recovery in hospital was like. I'm feeling quite apprehensive, as it's a big operation. Hope someone can reassure me!

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I had a friend who had it a few years ago. She spent around 10 days in hospital then at least 6 weeks recovering before she felt back to normal. She said she was sore but not in too much pain. They took half her lung away and she says now she is breathing a lot better and has much more energy. She tells everyone the scar is from a shark bite she got rescuing a child from the sea!.

I hope this helps.

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Love that story! People must be very impressed with her.

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She admitted to me she was terrified and was convinced she would die. Me and other friends gave her moral support and helped out with her kids. She was brave in public and relaxed with her friends and felt very down for a while. It was only when she had fully recovered that she told the shark story.

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Hi Croydonia, I have severe emphysema and had top of my right lung removed via keyhole procedure (VATS) at end of last September at Liverpool Heart & Chest. I can totally understand anyone being apprehensive. I felt much more comfortable before the op because I had visited the hospital a number of times before the op and had a bronchoscopy assessment under general anaesthetic to see if I was suitable for valves (which I wasn't) so my concern about care and anaesthesia was reduced. The hospital services and staff were fabulous. I was lucky in that I could have a keyhole procedure rather than my sternum being opened. The benefit to me has been a definite improvement in breathlessness. The surgeon was fantastic and explained all the possible risks clearly to me and one that is quite common is for the lung wound to take a while to heal so it leaks air - so they fit a drain and one has to be patient (scuse the pun) for it to heal. That happened to me, so I was in hosp for 10 days and then discharged with a portable 'flutter' drain which was removed a few days after that. I was a bit uncomfortable for the first few days in hospital and frightened to cough but the pain management team were great and monitored me carefully and I saw my surgeon every day and a general ward team every morning. The main downside for me was being constipated due to codeine etc and tricky getting to the loo when attached to drains and portable pain drips so needed help. I should have asked for laxatives earlier ! About a month after I came home I began to experience some pain in the right lung which was tricky to diagnose here (I live in IOM) but transpired likely due to nerve damage and the pain is now manageable and on the wain. Of course not everyone will need long term drains or experience post op pain - I hope you do not. I was lucky enough to have a partner to help me at home during recovery. Overall I would certainly recommend the procedure and stress that you need to exercise as soon as poss in hospital and regularly thereafter and hope you may have access to a rehab programme to help with this. Let me know if you need any more info - best regards to you x

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Thanks to you people that have replied, any information adds to my knowledge about the op. My story seems similar to yours Angora, I have severe copd, and I had a bronchoscopy, but they found that valves weren't suitable for me. The useless area in my lung is at the bottom, and they seem to think I'm a candidate for surgery. It was very useful for me to hear your story, I know things can go wrong afterwards, but I'm sure the hospital will take good care of me. I'll post again after June and let you know how I got on.

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Best of luck to you - wishing you well xx

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I had this done on the 28th Feb this year I had it done through VATS (keyhole) and it was fine was up walking day often op and 2 days after op walking and up and down stairs. I have notice a vast difference I am still recovering I still have a slight air leak and have an ambulatory chest drain in but it's great allows you to get home and be more active and recover much faster and other questions I am more than happy to answer for you hope this helps

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