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Pneumonectomy

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

A pneumonectomy is surgery to remove one of your lungs because of cancer, trauma, or another condition.

The Lungs

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You have chest pain or trouble breathing.

Call your doctor or surgeon if:

  • You are coughing up more than a teaspoon of blood.
  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • Your stitches or staples come apart.
  • 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.

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.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Antibiotics help 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 extra oxygen as directed:

You may need extra oxygen if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be.

Care for your incision as directed:

When you are allowed to bathe, 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.

Follow up with your doctor or 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.

Learn more about Pneumonectomy (Discharge Care)

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Further information

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