Right upper lobectomy: Hello there good... - Lung Cancer Support

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Right upper lobectomy


Hello there good people, I’m 10 days post op , Had 30 straight radiation treatments and 5 rounds of chemo 1 long chemo each week while having radiation , they tested me up 5 weeks before proceeding with upper right lobectomy recession and removed all right side lymph nodes,, Surgeiu has done well over 2000 of these successfully and from the very beginning said he would do the surgery . I’m 53 years old and had no signs of sickness found this by accident (thankGod) This was initially going to be a 3 hour surgery but ended up being 6 hours,, Surgeon found it challenging because of the tissue damage from treatments , but told me he took his time with me and wanted to tell me with certainty he removed all cancer,, My biggest concerns right now are wanting to know if all of these different pains I’ve been experiencing are normal,, not to mention terrible SOB out of nowhere, I rarely got out of breath prior to treatments,, and I am a very active person. I don’t sit still ,, I also consider myself a quick healer and DO have a very high tolerance to pain, I was kept in Hospital for 5 days .I did force myself to get out of the bed the day after surgery to walk a bit and get blood circulating properly , somebody please tell me this too will pass thank you , Lisa

13 Replies

I had surgery for Stage IIIB Lung Cancer in 2009. I had all the issues you are having or something similar. I can tell you that almost all of the issues will resolve themselves in time. However, we are all different. You are very active and that will help you recover greatly. Good luck, God bless and keep the faith.


Thank you so much for replying to my very first post, Most people who are not family and or close friends don’t know about my health issues ,, By the grace of God, I’m one of those people who can cope through humor,,,when things are out of our control, kept my attitude pleasant and positive despite the anxieties , Again, Thank you David ! 🤗🙏

your fatigue may not get better. Since they done lobectomy you have less breathing room. you will probally be short of breath. your a strong person you may be able to not get short of breath. but you went through alot of treatments before surgery. i hope and pray some of your fatigue lessen. if you need to talk or rant or cry i,m here for you. love from a 5 and half years survivior susiejo1948

Getoutofme, I was diagnosed with III A/B lung cancer 6 years ago and had all that you have had ( actually even more chemo, as they continued it for 2 years after the lobectomy ). YES, you will get better. You will surprise yourself actually. While you must give it some time, it is absolutely essential you stay active , and continue to walk every day. And please get a flute like respiratory device ( ( I used and still use an Aerobika device ) and use it diligently while on your iPad or watching TV. Stay positive, stay active, and stay smiling! All Best Wishes, judg69

I am 12 years cancer free. also had a right upper lobectomy. I do get out of breath if I go up and down stairstoo many times. my legs start to hurt do to lack of oxygen circulsting to my legs. all in all, I will live with this.. I am alive!!!!

kri312 in reply to bellaella

12 years!! Amazing. Can you share your story? I am 2 months post R LL lobectomy and L UL wedge resection for 2 small stage 1 NSCLC nodules with no lymph node involvment. Trying to move forward and realize I may too be able to be 12 years one day too!!! The mental recovery is the much harder hill to tackle!!!

bellaella in reply to kri312

by accident we found the cancer. went to memorial sloan kettering where I had a right upper loebectomy followed by 4 rounds of chemo. I had stage 1b. after the chemo, I would say it took me about a year to really feel myself. positive thinking is very important. good luck and prayers coming your way..

You are only 10 days post op, give yourself some time to heal. Five years ago I lost the upper left lobe to stage 2 squamous cell lung cancer, I was 56. Like you, mine was found accidentally, I had no signs or symptoms (at the same time I was told I have mild emphysema). Eights weeks ago I lost the upper right lobe to stage 1a. this time they also removed the lymph nodes on the right side. I think the swelling and pain from the lymph node removal was worse than the surgery itself, but the pain is slowly getting better but I was told that the swelling may take awhile.

Yes, this too shall pass, you will get stronger, start feeling better, it takes time.

If the hospital did not send you home with one, get a "flute" device and use it regularly. I use a aerobika. The vibration helps break up congestion and keep your lungs clearer.

Your symptoms are not unusual at your stage of healing from this surgery. If the shortness of breath is sudden onset rather than just post operative, I would contact your surgeon or oncologist. It might mean there is a fluid buildup in or around your lung. A simple chest xray would show it. Meanwhile keep moving and deep breathing. It sounds as though you are doing well.


You’ve had some great input so far so I can only reinforce what others have said. Walking is great exercise, talk to your dr about any exercise program you’re going to do. No exertion for 6 weeks, your body has been through a major trauma. You lost a lobe, that represents 20% of your lung capacity. If you had the open thorachotemy (vs the VATS surgery) recovery may take even longer as ribs had to be broken.

Sometimes ribs break even with a VATS, and often one or many nerves may have been cut. They take even longer to heal. You should consider sleeping in a recliner if you’re not already doing that. It supports the ribs and chest while you sleep as laying in bed can create a lot of pressure on the incision.

Good morning, Getoutofme. Thank you for joining us and sharing your story so far. 10 days out is not a lot. As you can see, these people have lived this, so I won't even try to top their advice. Be patient with your body, it has been through a lot, and be patient with yourself - this is not easy stuff to process. You are young and strong, so trust that and gently ease back into exercise and good nutrition. We are so glad you are here with us, a community makes the journey so much easier. Welcome.

I’d like to thank each of you for your compassion and support. I find hearing from others who have been through the same treatment and surgery as I have to be more accurate and helpful than the cookie cutting responses I have gotten from some medical staff . My progress has been 2 steps forward , 1 step back and so on ,, each day is a mystery, I’ve had so many different symptoms both good and not so good ,, I keep telling myself, “ This pressure and dry cough I got hit with yesterday is my body’s way of healing “ then I wonder why I felt much better the day before, I’m not one to complain about pain as long as I know it’s normal. I go to my post op visit on Wednesday - today is 2 weeks post op .. Does anyone know if I should be trying to lift light weight 4 lbs and should I be stretching as I heal ? Thanks in advance for your feedback 🤗

Perfectly normal! It will take time to gain strength. I did yoga and it helped a lot!

You take good care!

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