Lobectomy right too lobe : I had this... - The Roy Castle Lu...

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Lobectomy right too lobe

HenryEtta profile image

I had this last week and although I ran 3 times a week and walked 5 miles a day I thought I was fit but after the op I am so out of breath even walking up the stairs . Is this normal as it scares me that I want get back to my fitness

21 Replies

Talk to your doctor about when you can start exercising. The lobectomy is a trauma to the lung. If you start too soon you can cause additional trauma that may not be reversible.

Hi, I had the middle and lower lobes of my right lung taken out last week. only home from hospital yesterday so am yet to try out the new lung capacity yet. Prior to this I used to run 10k a day. Where the tumour was placed it was constricting the lung to the extent I was only getting 20% out of it, so in a way I've had some training as to the "new normal". If you've only had the op last week, then I think its just a case of giving it time, and doing your lung exercises (did they give you the lung exercise thing with the tube and you have to get the ball at the top of the chamber?).



HenryEtta profile image
HenryEtta in reply to Ian_cee

Hi Uan yes they did so I can now get all the balls up . I had my op last Wednesday then developed AF so went on beta blockers which is now making me cough . I had no idea the shortness of breath though .

Hi, I had a Lower RHS lobectomy 18 months ago and I’m back to Tennis cycling etc. It takes time, and everyone’s journey is different. I found the first few weeks exhausting mentally and physically, but keep doing the exercises, sleep when you need to and you’re maximising your chances of the best long term outcome.

Hope it works out well for you.

Hi - I had my right upper lobe removed back in 2015 - was also keen runner beforehand. I had my surgery via VATS. Having checked okay with surgeon to run I was back able to do a 5k three weeks after surgery (worst but was wearing the sports bra over where the drain stitch had been!). Four months after surgery I completed Snowdonia marathon. Am still running regularly so am sure you will get there. One week is still early days - give yourself a bit of time for your body to readjust. Take care and hope you are back running soon

Janey xx

I found my lobectomy to be the most debilitating surgery I've ever had and I have had many. You will eventually get back much of your former abilities, but right now that lung needs to heal. Listen to your body and rest when you need to. Check with your doctor to see what exercises are recommended at this stage of your recovery. Most recommend walking to build your stamina back up.

I wish you well in your recovery. Stay safe and stay well. Jean

HenryEtta profile image
HenryEtta in reply to JeanE41

When did the short of breathlessness stop .

JeanE41 profile image
JeanE41 in reply to HenryEtta

I never went back to my pre surgery status. 2/3 of my left lung was removed and even after 5 years I have some shortness of breath on exertion. I'm 78 years old, so you will probably have a better result. You were in excellent physical shape before the surgery, I was not.

HenryEtta profile image
HenryEtta in reply to JeanE41

Hi well I am 69 and a Pilates teacher. I like running and walking so I am pretty fit. I thought a had a chest infection so having a lobe taking out and then diagnosed with lung cancer was such a pretty shock . I am trying so hard. To let me body heal but as an active person it is hard just to accept total chill time x

I had top rh lobe removed last February-2019 remember this is the largest lobe on the right the equivalent to the middle and lower lobe put together.

My breathing was dreadful for about 3 weeks after surgery - try sleeping on your back with several pillows never lie flat. 2,000 steps per day by week 3 and then build up to your 10,000 steps by about month 3.

But hey we are all different and must listen to our bodies - the middle lobe gradually expands and fills the area in the lung that held the top lobe.

I still get breathless and certainly haven't climbed any mountains. Hope all improves for you xx

HenryEtta profile image
HenryEtta in reply to Cmtd

Thank you for your reassuring words . I look forward to letting you know my progress . I had no idea about the size either of the lobe just assumed small

HenryEtta profile image
HenryEtta in reply to Cmtd

Oops think I might be over doing it as I am on day 10 after the operation and have just seen 9600 steps today just walking around the house And little dog walk 🙈

Dear HenryEtta

This must be particularly difficult for you given that you are fit and used to exercise. Everyone is different in their recovery and the time it takes for this to happen. As some of the replies have said, to listen to your body, not to push it too much and it will pay off if you rest and recover now.

On page 36 of our surgery booklet, details what to expect after surgery and the general timelines for this: roycastle.org/app/uploads/2...

There are many inspirational stories on our website under our campaign section, especially the one titled 'Like Me' : roycastle.org/campaigns/lik...

Hope your recover well and if you would like to discuss anything you can either email us at lungcancerhelp@roycastle.org or call our freephone nurse led helpline number on 0800 358 7200

Kind regards

The Roy Castle Support Team

everyone's different - I was a regular swimmer before my op in Dec 2010 - swimming 130 lengths 3-4 times a week but after visiting A&E in the October hadn't swum (apart from eve before and day of surgery) and didn't resume until March 2011. Post surgery I walked around neighbourhood as my surgeon had said recovery was up to me - it was v. important to be as active as possible to redevelop the lung. I had half my left lung removed (upper left lobe). Breathlessness inevitable immediately but little by little rebuilt stamina - some days more tired than others. visited derby for weekend and walked/visited stately home and then had swollen leg - GP told me it was tendonitis and to stay off my legs! v. frustrating. At March 2011 follow up surgeon told me to resume swimming and was determined to be back to my 130 lengths by my next appointment in the June which I was.... took a while for front crawl but got back into breathing rhythm by doing a little further each day - starting with 20 lengths on my back sculling arms at my side. In the next couple of years built up my swimming to much much further than ever before 360 lengths in one session (5+ hours) and 989 miles through the year (980 the previous year) raising money for Roy Castle. I'm so pleased my surgeon gave me something to motivate me as I know sitting around with any respiratory condition is really bad for heart and lungs.... . Breathlessness with stairs/incline took quite a while to recover but it did eventually - was at work and swimming 3 months post open (not keyhole) surgery. Listen to your body but also do as much as you can when you can and rest up other times. If you only had surgery last week, you're pushing it maybe too soon.... try little and often rather than going all out for a distance and build it up gradually. you will get there. unfortunately I showered every day and think I overdid the physio exercises recommended and my wound started to open up so had to be packed... this was what deterred me from swimming sooner. my surgeon was surprised I hadn't been when he saw me in the March and said it would be very painful as the muscles that had been cut would take some 'work' but to persevere. so pleased I did. good luck with your recovery.

Hello Henrietta, I am due to have a bilobectomy on my right lung next Friday, assuming all goes ahead. So I can’t advise at this point. I have been worried about recovery the pain and breathlessness. I wish you a speedy recovery and hope your feeling back more to your old self soon. Please keep us updated your progress. I will also do the same.

Hi how are you Becky hopefully in the road to recovery 🙋🏻‍♀️

Hi HenryEtta thanks for your message, I was due to go in last week but surgery got cancelled, so now due to have it tomorrow 😳. Just feel I want to get it done now the more you wait the more anxious you feel. Quite worried about recovery though, particularly the pain. How are you getting on now has it been about 4-5 weeks are you starting to feel better and more able to do things at home. Are you finding you can walk abit further?

Well I was 5 weeks yesterday and although I am pushing myself more the breathlessness is still there .but the pain is a lot easier . Can’t believe they cancelled you at a time were you are hi yum no to be anxious . Please feel free to text when ever you want to . Good luck you will be ok x

Good luck I will be seeing you a get well hug . When your ready I will be hear to listen

I had a right lower lobectomy in 2017 - it does take time to get your breathing improved. All I can say is keep mobile. I have made the mistake of not keeping mobile, not helped by having to surrender my driving licence for brain mets, so basically been on lockdown for 2 years - all my own fault and I still get very puffed. So, you are in control, keep active and you will see a great improvement. But be patient and kind to yourself.

HenryEtta profile image
HenryEtta in reply to Vapcq

I am so trying not to be hard in mystic but find it hard to be the way not very active from being a very active person . Thus breathlessness. Us getting to me though and I start Chemo on Monday for 12 weeks . Please take care of yourself and keep safe . Best wishes Annette

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