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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A pneumonectomy is surgery to remove one of your lungs.
- Medicines can help decrease pain or prevent an 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.
Do deep breathing as directed:
Take deep breaths and cough 10 times each hour. 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.
Use your extra oxygen as directed:
You may need extra oxygen if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. You may get oxygen through a mask placed over your nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in your nostrils. Do not smoke or let anyone smoke around you.
Care for your wound as directed. Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. You may have medical tape on your incision. Keep the tape clean and dry. It will start to peel off on its own. Do not pull it off.
Ask when to return to your usual activities:
Slowly start to do more each day. Rest when you feel it is needed. Do not lift heavy objects. Ask when you can return to work.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- You cough up yellow, green, or bloody mucus.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have chest pain or trouble breathing.
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your stitches or staples come apart.
- You are coughing up more than a teaspoon of blood.
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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.