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Lung Lobectomy

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Lung lobectomy is surgery to remove one or more lobes from your lungs.

The Lungs

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call, or have someone call, your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You are short of breath or feel like you cannot get enough air.
  • You feel lightheaded and have chest pain.
  • You cough up blood.
  • You feel dizzy or faint and pass out.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • You cough up more than a teaspoon of blood.
  • 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.

Call your surgeon if:

  • You have nausea or are vomiting.
  • You cough up yellow, green, or bloody mucus.
  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have constipation or diarrhea.
  • You have blood in your bowel movement.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Antibiotics help prevent a bacterial infection.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.

Care for your wound as directed:

Follow your surgeon's instructions about how to care for your wounds at home. Gently wash the part of your body that has the stitches or staples. Do not rub on the surgery area to dry your skin. Pat the area gently with a towel. When the area is dry, put on a clean, new bandage as directed.

Wear extra oxygen, if directed:

Extra oxygen helps you breathe easier. It is usually given through a nasal cannula. A nasal cannula is a pair of short, thin tubes that rest just inside your nose. Tell your healthcare provider 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.

Self-care:

  • Take deep breaths and cough 10 times every hour, or as directed. This 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.
  • Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.

Follow up with your surgeon as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.