Breathing : This is my first post,... - The Roy Castle Lu...

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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This is my first post,2 months ago I had top and middle lobes of right lung removed,I was in hospital for a month,the biggest problem I have is being so short of breath,I can't walk far ,a few yards,without stopping,I have a ventolin nebuliser which I use 4 times a day ,anybody out there who has been down this rocky road,and can give me some information/advice,thanks.

4 Replies

Dear Dufftam

Welcome to the forum, where you will find support and encouragement from those who have had similiar experiences.

Breathlessness is to be expected and is normal post lung surgery. It may take up to 12 weeks to obtain your full fitness levels.

The link below directs you to what to expect up to 12 weeks post your lung surgery (page 30 of the booklet)

Ventolin is normally used as a rescue medication, inbetween the long acting inhalers. Perhaps discuss with your GP/Specialist, if you feel you are not getting any relief from the ventolin, as your breathless may need to be reassessed.

Your other lung usually adapts to improve your breathing, there is some good information on the following link from cancer research UK:

If you wish to discuss anything you can call us on our free nurse led helpline number on 0800 358 7200

Kind regards

The Roy Castle Support Team

I too had upper and middle lobes removed. Breathing does get better. Of course it all depends on lung condition. I have COPD also...all from smoking...but I get around now. I took breathing treatments for a few months but now I don't really use anything. It will be 2 years in September since my surgery. I wish you all the best.

Dear Dufftam,

I had left upper lobe removed in Dec 2010 (this is half the lung as there are only 2 lobes on the left side). It took a while but I started moving about each day and started by walking to the local post box (usually a 5 minute walk) and vividly remember having to be held/supported and stopping 3 times on the way there and again on the way back and it taking three quarters of an hour or so. One thing I had to get used to was that my pace of walking had to slow down from my previous 'normal'. Each time I'd try to do it a little quicker then started going to the park on the back of where I live and moving a little more. Being upright helped me breath better than sitting hunched up (no good for the diaphragm) and moving helped move the phlegm better. I was given a motivational spirometer gadget to practice breathing on to show much my breathing was improving. After a few months I was back swimming (which also helps regulate breathing) . It was painful to start with (front crawl especially due to scar/muscle/nerve damage) but have gone onto swim further than I ever did before surgery despite having swum regularly for over 20 years before that. I say these things not to overwhelm you or make you feel bad at your current situation but to encourage you that things will get better. The lungs are like balloons and my surgeon explained that if they were not used properly, they weaken but by use, the operated one can inflate again. As when you blow a balloon up, it may become bigger but the surface is thinner - if you don't, it can stay partially collapsed so it's important to do deep breathing to redevelop it. I've had a few hospital stays in the years since and staff are always keen to get you off nebulisers and onto inhalers rather than relying on these as they can cause other side effects. However in the short term, they can help but try and do some breathing exercises each day. You could also ask your surgical centre for pulmonary rehabiliation. good luck.

Hi I had upper right and middle lines removed Dec 7 th 2017 stage 3A I had 30 shots of radiation and just did my first scan 90 days after treatment oh and that scan is Normal, I also did 6 months of chemo. I was diagnosed June 2017 and I’m breathing great, sometimes short breath but hey I’m alive

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