Left lobectomy: I'm sat here in... - The Roy Castle Lu...

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

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Left lobectomy


I'm sat here in hospital recovering from a lower left lobectomy. Had full thoracic surgery. Apart fromthe usual it seems as though my lung is leaking around the staples. The consultant says this is normal but they can't take my drain out until it stops leaking. Has anyone else had this problem?

5 Replies

The drains are meant to remain in the lung for several days after surgery as that's part of the post surgical recovery. sometimes patients are sent home with the drains still in and a nurse comes in to see to the drains - mine were removed in hospital back in Dec 2010. I also had open (as you term 'full) thoracotomy and was in hospital from 16th (day of surgery) to 22nd - I think the drains were removed on 21st. I'm unsure what information you were given about our surgery itself and what recovery might look like but what you describe of the drains is perfectly normal which is what your consultant has told you. I've enclosed the Roy Castle lung cancer foundation booklet on surgery and you'll see drains mentioned on p27 and elsewhere in the booklet together with many frequently asked questions, pictures, diagrams and information to help you understand the procedure and also various recovery milestones. good luck with your recovery and hope this reassures you for now. roycastle.org/app/uploads/2...

Yes, I had upper right lobectomy 3rd Sept. full op not Vats. Fluid leaked from around my drain for 4 days. I was put on a drug to reduce viscocity of mucus to make my coughs less vigorous and the leaking settled. Came home day after drain came out day 6 and I've just had the sutures out. So all progressed as normal. Nothing to worry about, although scarey at the time.

Hello I had a lobectomy of the middle and lower lobe of my right lung just 9 weeks ago. I also had open surgery. I was in hospital for 12 days as I was told I had an air leak, but things have got better and I have been doing well since at home. Last chest X-ray I was told the remainder of my right lung had expanded well and there was still small amount of fluid, but getting better and much improved. This was just under 2 weeks ago. And been doing plenty of walking and pain a lot better. Still taking paracetamol as and when needed and pregablin but gradually reducing this now. Driving fine and doing a phased return to work. Hope this information helps and wishing you well and a good recovery

Sorry forgot to say I had 2 drains in, one was removed after 5 days and the last one on the day I was discharged. At the time it felt like a lifetime but I think the chest drain help my recovery


Dear Anotherbadname

Sorry to hear you have had surgery and hope your recover well.

There have been excellent replies to your query, and it is normal to have fluid come out at the wound site, even though you have a drain in. The longer the drain is in the better the chance of any excess fluid will be taken away and not collect under the skin, which can lead to discomfort and a risk of infection.

Please be reassured, and perhaps re discuss this with the ward staff , they will be measuring the amount of fluid daily which should start to reduce as time goes on.

If you wish 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

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