WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Lung lobectomy is surgery to remove one or more lobes from your lungs.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Medicines can help decrease pain or prevent or treat a bacterial infection. Ask your primary healthcare provider (PHP) how to take prescription pain medicine safely.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your PHP if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your surgeon or specialist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Bathing with stitches:
Follow your PHP's instructions on when you can bathe. Gently wash the part of your body that has the stitches. Do not rub on the stitches to dry your skin. Pat the area gently with a towel. When the area is dry, put on a clean, new bandage as directed.
You may need extra oxygen to help you breathe easier. It may be given through a plastic mask over your mouth and nose. It may be given through a nasal cannula, or prongs, instead of a mask. A nasal cannula is a pair of short, thin tubes that rest just inside your nose. Tell your PHP if your nose gets dry or if you get redness or sores on your skin. Never smoke or let anyone else smoke in the same room while your oxygen is on. Doing so may cause a fire.
- Deep breathing and coughing will decrease your risk for a lung infection. Take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can. Let the air out and then cough strongly. Deep breaths help open your airway. You may be given an incentive spirometer to help you take deep breaths. Put the plastic piece in your mouth and take a slow, deep breath. Then let the air out and cough. Repeat these steps 10 times every hour.
- A chest tube may be left in place when you go home. You will be given instructions on how to care for it. Ask your caregiver for more information about chest tubes.
- Do not smoke. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking can slow your healing after surgery. Ask your PHP for information if you need help quitting.
Contact your surgeon or specialist if:
- You have nausea and are vomiting.
- You cough up yellow, green, or bloody mucus.
- You have a fever or chills.
- You have trouble having a bowel movement, or you have diarrhea or blood in your bowel movement.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You cough up more than a teaspoon of blood.
- You feel dizzy or faint and pass out.
- You feel your heart beating in an irregular pattern.
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your incision is swollen, red, or has pus coming from it.
- Your stitches or staples come apart.
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.