Surgery this week: I met my consultant... - The Roy Castle Lu...

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

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Surgery this week

Brookbond profile image

I met my consultant this week and he has booked me in for a VATS lobectomy on Thursday. Shocked at the speed this has all happened but extremely grateful. Naturally feeling anxious and worried about pain post surgery. Can anybody give me the benefit of their similar experience. It helps so much speaking to people who know what it’s like x

7 Replies

Hi Brookbond, I dont know if this helps, but I had a pneumonectomy on my right lung. The lung was removed on the Monday and I was home within a week. I was in I.C.U for 2 days then on a normal ward. I had morphine for the 2 days in I.C.U. then just paracetamol I hardly noticed any pain. (That was 10 years ago this December). I wish you all the best for Thursday. :) xx

Brookbond profile image
Brookbond in reply to jillygirl

Hi thank you for your reply and I’m happy to hear you are now fit and well. I’m not sure what to expect but I’m sure I will be in good hands x

Hi Brookbond, I can imagine you are almost in shock to be offered an operation so fast - though it is great not to have to wait too long.

I had a left lobectomy in October 2019. Now almost unaware of any traces of it - a little discomfort at times - rather randomly, and slightly less lung capacity on exertion. The operation went well, though I had a prolonged air leak (I think it is called PAL) which is quite common apparently - when the unaffected lobe gets punctured in the operation. That involved having the chest drain in for a week, with and without suction. The chest drain was very painful for me at times - I think it was touching a nerve under my diaphragm. This seems rare, but if were to happen for you I thoroughly recommend my simple solution - more pillows behind you to arch your ribcage out rather than bending in over your diaphragm! I was in hospital for 8 nights in total and took a while to regain my fitness due to an infected drain wound and undiagnosed post surgical anaemia. As I said at the start, it all came right after a couple of months feeling rather fragile, and I was able to climb a Munro last summer. Wishing you all the very best with your operation and recovery.

Hi, that’s great you’re booked in so quickly and I know it’s scary but to reassure you, I had a lower left vats lobectomy nearly 2 years ago and apart from 3 tiny scars you’d never know. I am slightly more breathless walking up inclines but that’s all. Was in hospital just for 3 nights and was up walking in the ward and to the toilet with the drain day one. You will be given medication to manage any discomfort post op and will be given breathing exercises. I bought a big v pillow to help position myself to sleep when I got home. I wasn’t given any shoulder/arm exercises and went on to develop a frozen shoulder so my advice would be to ask about and do shoulder exercises to help prevent that and to generally keep as active as you can. All the best for your op. X

I had a lobectomy in March. You will be able to get up and walk the next day. They manage the pain well. 6 months later back at work, exercising and enjoying everyday. Good luck you will be home before you know it.

Hi Brookbond,

I had open surgery lobectomy on lower right lung October 2020 and like you I saw consultant on Monday and was operated on following Tuesday. Couldn't believe how quickly it all was. I was in hospital 4 nights and on morphine but asked for regular painkillers as it was making me nausea. I was up and about day after op, walking to bathroom etc with drain no problem. Have been left with mild nerve pain around op site but it's fine. I have slight breathlessness walking up inclines which I manage with breathing exercises. I found the British Lung Foundation site excellent for breathing exercises and I also found exercises to do on upper chest/arms/shoulders to improve mobility there as I was rather stiff which have helped enormously. Hope this is of help to you, good luck and take care.Marie

Dear Brookbond

Welcome to the forum and sorry to hear you have lung cancer. It can be quite a shock given a diagnosis then within a very short time, surgery or treatment starts. Many find it quite a emotional rollercoaster and there is plenty support and encouragement here for your.

The VATS (Video assisted thoracoscopic surgery) is one of the less invasive lung surgery as they perform this through the keyhole surgery.

This is the link to our booklet on lung surgery, where it provides information on the types of surgery, what to expect and the after care at

Most people recover well from the VATS surgery and there are timelines to recovery in the information booklet. If you would like to discuss anything you can either email us at or call our free phone nurse led helpline number on 0800 358 7200

Hope all goes well for you this week.

Kind regards

The Roy Castle Support Team

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