It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board

  • Anyone been through a VATS procedure? Please respond...

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 08-06-2007, 07:33 AM   #1
    momto2boyz
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    momto2boyz's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: massachusetts
    Posts: 11
    momto2boyz HB User
    Anyone been through a VATS procedure? Please respond...

    Hello All;

    I've been lurking on the threads for awhile-posted my first time a few weeks ago when i was told I had a nodule and now I'm back with questions around VATS.

    Quick history: I am 32 years old and about a month ago I was very ill with what I was told a bad viral/respiratory infection. (Otherwise I have been healthy)
    I slowely got better but during a chest xry we found a nodule (1.5 cm) in my RLL. My life has been a nightmare since. I have 2 small children 3 and 6 and the thought that I might have a terminal illness scares me to death!
    Not to mention the guilt since I have been a off again on again smoker.
    I have started quitting (I've cheated on occasion due to stress and have smoked a cigerette or two to calm my nerves...I know-how hypocritical is that!) but I'm afraid the damage has been done.

    I saw a thoracic surgeon here in Boston. I've had a Pet Scan which showed minimal uptake but no other areas looked suspicious. I was confused because the radiologist report said no signs of malignancy and advised to follow up in one year but than the surgeon called the next day and said we should take it out. I dont know how much uptake yet, (doctor is now on vacation for 2 weeks!) but he said minimal and noted that it could still be an infectious process but suggested I go through with VATS because so far, the nodule is still indeterminate.

    I am a worrier and havent been able to enjoy one day with my family since this whole thing began so I believe I shld have the surgery, but at the same time scared to death.

    Please, any advice would be appreciated. Its been a roller coaster ride the past 2 months. WIth no end near! Yesterday I thought I was cancer free because of the radiologist report saying no evidence of malignancy and reccomend folllow up in one year. Than I get a call from the doctor today that because it didnt get smaller and because there was minimal uptake- we should have it removed for my peice of mind.

    Has anyone has this procedure and what was your experience. How will I be able to take care of my children once I have this? Does anyone have and long term pain as a result of this?

    Thanks everyone in advance,
    Mom in Boston

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 08-06-2007, 04:00 PM   #2
    dragonfly05
    Member
    (female)
     
    dragonfly05's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2007
    Location: California
    Posts: 58
    dragonfly05 HB User
    Re: Anyone been through a VATS procedure? Please respond...

    Hi there!

    First of all, I am sorry you are going through this! I am not sure how much help I will be, as I did not have this procedure done. It was a possibility for me to have this procedure, but I ended up having a full thoracotomy instead (VATS is a total of 2-3 small incisions and a camera goes in to remove the nodule). A thoracotomy is extremely invasive and requires a weeks hospital stay and I have a 6 inch scar on my back from where they had to open up my ribs and remove the nodule. I am not saying this all to scare you, but to give you an idea of how fast you will heal!! I am 27 and just had this done 7 months ago. I feel totally healed and back to normal. They removed a 3.2cm nodule in my right upper lobe and ended up removing the entire lobe as well (mine was benign). I don't have any children, but my husband was there to support me 100%. Your family will have to help you out because it takes a lot of time to heal--with a full thoracotomy it is a very slow healing process. I have heard that a VATS surgery is much, much better in comparison! As far as long term pain, I just have some nerve pain still...but that is due to the cutting they had to do through my muscle and nerves. I'm told it can take up to a year to get all feeling back. As I said before, I don't think this is true of VATS. With VATS I was told you may be in the hospital for 1-3 days, and back to work in as little as 1-2 weeks. With mine, I was out for 6 weeks. The most important thing to know is that post surgery, you will need to make sure you exercise. Invasive or not, lung surgery of any kind is major. And remember, you have your age on your side. That is what my surgeon kept telling me, so you will heal that much faster. Good luck! Keep us updated. Try to stay as positive as you can, you will need all the strength you can muster to help yourself heal.

     
    Old 08-06-2007, 08:06 PM   #3
    momto2boyz
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    momto2boyz's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: massachusetts
    Posts: 11
    momto2boyz HB User
    Re: Anyone been through a VATS procedure? Please respond...

    Thank you Dragonfly, I really appreciate your response.
    You sound like a tough cookie.. If I opt to have the VATS procedure- I certainly hope I am as strong willed as you are. So far I do have to say I haven't delt with this with the grace I would have liked.

    As you have mentioned,VATS is less invasive than the procedure you went through but any lung surgery is major surgery which worries me. I know I will never be the same after surgery and that scares me too. I realize the alternative could be far worse but I cant seem to come to any decision yet.

    Question, if your nodule was benign, why did they have to remove your entire lobe? Just curious because my surgeon said he would biopsy the nodule and if it was malignant, he would remove the lower lobe, but only if it was malignant.

    Meredith

     
    Old 08-06-2007, 11:22 PM   #4
    dragonfly05
    Member
    (female)
     
    dragonfly05's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2007
    Location: California
    Posts: 58
    dragonfly05 HB User
    Re: Anyone been through a VATS procedure? Please respond...

    Meredith,

    Don't worry about how you have handled your situation thus far! It is a really hard thing to digest, believe me, I did have many weak moments. I realized that I had a choice to be strong or to let it all get to me...I chose to be strong mostly because it made it that much easier on my family.

    They didn't know it was benign until about two weeks after my surgery. Because my nodule was located in between two major arteries, if he had just removed the nodule itself, that particular lobe would not have proper blood supply. It was a decision that was made while I was under, but I knew it was a possibility before going in. In fact, the plan was to do VATS, but it just wasn't going to work...and again, I knew a full thoracotomy was a possibility. When they found my nodule originally, it was 2.8 cm and they decided to monitor it over a two year period. It grew right at the two year mark and it was decided I should have it removed, although the ultimate decision was up to me. I decided to remove it because I have no kids yet and am not yet situated in my career (still finishing college). It turned out because of where it was located, I would have eventually needed to have it removed...it would have restricted blood flow due to an increase in size. I was so happy I had made the decision to have the surgery NOW, while I was still really young and had a much faster rate of healing to my advantage! Of course, the choice is different for each individual. For me, it was ideal.

    I thank God everyday that this was caught at such a young age. It was the hardest thing I have ever been through, but everyday I see my scar, I am so thankful for my life. It truly has made me a stronger person. You will be okay, no matter what happens. Just hang in there. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. I always hope that telling my story helps other people...I know it certainly helps me in the ongoing healing process each time I talk about it.

     
    Old 08-11-2007, 12:42 PM   #5
    linda71
    Member
    (female)
     
    linda71's Avatar
     
    Join Date: May 2007
    Location: west falls, ny u.s.
    Posts: 83
    linda71 HB User
    Re: Anyone been through a VATS procedure? Please respond...

    I am sorry you are going through this, especially so young and with children. I had a VATS a little over 2 weeks ago. They went in for a biopsy because they couldn't do it with needle aspiration. They tried but didn't get enough.

    I had more problem with vomiting and arthritis/headache then anything else. They made more than 3 incisions for mine and my GP said she couldn't understand that because it is usually 3.

    After they put you in ICU and you have drains from your lungs. I am not going to lie and say it was a piece of cake because it isn't. Although the recovery time is a lot less than a lobectomy I still am feeling pain and tiredness. I am older than you so some of the things I experienced you probably won't. I have heart arthythmias and my blood pressure which is usually low went extremely low which sent the nurses flying and machines and monitors blaring. I always did cause at lot of trouble!

    Once I got out of the ICU they took the catheter and drains out. That didn't hurt at all. I was really afraid of that but that was a piece of cake!

    I spent four days in the hospital. They released me with a prescription of percocet. I have an addiction to pain medication so I only take one pill a day. So far I have been doing ok with that. You will probably be able to take more so you should be in less pain. Driving has been my challenge and wearing a bra is horrible. I am braless unless I absolutely have to wear one and it is off the second I get home. I seem to be kind of bruised all around the area of the incisions, but I bruise very easy.

    They had the results within a few days and it is Sarcoidosis. They knew right away that it was granulomas but they grew cultures and that is what they found. I am an extremely fortunate. I smoked for over 30 years and have COPD and the beginnings of pulmonary fibrosis. My lungs are in bad shape.

    I hope this has been helpful and if you have any questions please let me know and I'll make sure I check every so often. Good luck to you. You will do fine

    Linda

     
    Old 08-21-2007, 03:54 PM   #6
    ruslan_1
    Newbie
    (male)
     
    ruslan_1's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Aug 2007
    Location: Ely, Cambs, UK
    Posts: 1
    ruslan_1 HB User
    Thumbs up Re: Anyone been through a VATS procedure? Please respond...

    Hi - I had a VATS lobectomy and pneumadhesis about two years ago. I can definitely recommend it - my uncle had the same thing done by thoracotomy back in the old days and still complains about it, but I was out of hospital in less than a week, back to work after two weeks at home and have had no problems since (I should say that my uncle is very fit and athletic, while I'm very unfit, which goes to show how much difference the keyhole surgery makes).

    It wasn't so great at the time - once I left hospital and the painkillers wore off I felt pretty awful to say the least, not least because I had no idea how long I'd feel so ill. But knowing how soon this goes away, I wouldn't hesitate to have the same done to the other lung if it needs it. The only ill effect was a band of numbness and odd sensation across a couple of ribs, I guess where a nerve was cut, but this has pretty much disappeared since then. Two small scars and that's it. I'll gladly bore you with more details about it but otherwise, Best wishes and Best of Luck!

     
    Closed Thread

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
    Synthes ProDisc-C disc replacement (anyone had this?) Poppa John Spinal Cord Disorders 3 04-06-2010 03:54 AM
    Anyone had the staple hemorrhoid removal surgery / PPH ??? flygirl07 Bowel Disorders 28 02-14-2008 11:23 PM
    Celiac Plexus Block-Dave or anyone know anything about it? bulletinboard25 Pain Management 7 03-23-2006 07:49 AM
    Has anyone here ever had EMG instead of a myelogram? chocolate chip Back Problems 15 07-12-2005 03:28 AM
    Does anyone have any info on long term use of predisone with RSDS?? goddessdana Pain Management 9 09-12-2004 08:54 AM
    Panniculectomy and Breast Reduction - Anyone?? jbean2 Cosmetic / Plastic Surgery 3 04-22-2004 11:17 AM




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:44 AM.





    © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!