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  • Thoracotomy pain

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    Old 10-22-2008, 12:31 AM   #1
    maddogmary's Avatar
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    Thoracotomy pain

    I just found these boards and I'm so happy to be able to chat with others in similar situations.

    I had a posterolateral thoracotomy with a right lower lobectomy and a right middle wedge resection last November. The good news was that the growths were benign - official dx Sclerosing Hemangioma. Extremely rare and I had two so really rare but excellent news for a 30+yr smoker ( one yr quit anniversary on Friday)

    Anyway I still experience the following symptoms:

    Shortness of breath after/during activity
    Heaviness in lower chest cavity
    Occasional muscle spasms in the incision area
    Occasional burning along incision line
    Swelling under arm and along side of breast
    Inability to take deep breath (Feel like the right lung is full while left lung still has room)

    Anyone else experience any of these symptoms? While my Dr. says these are normal symptoms and some may or may not go away, some may stay forever. It would be nice to know that I'm not the only one and that maybe some of these problems will still go away with time.

    Thanks for your help

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    Old 05-30-2009, 07:06 PM   #2
    Eb Jones
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    Re: Thoracotomy pain

    I had an axillary thoracotomy approximately a year ago due to a massive empyema that crushed my left lung. I had emergency surgery to relieve the fluid and get cleaned out. All was looking well, I was recovering quickly, then I started accumulating fluid again a few days later. This time it was lymph fluid. The surgeon said he may have nicked the thoracic duct during the first surgery causing the lymph leak. Anyway, a week to the day after the first surgery, I went under the knife again. I went home 8 days later. I was a morphine zombie for probably 12 of those 15 days. I wouldn't wish pain like that on my worst enemy. That was last June, almost a year ago. To this day, I still have pain. Only recently has my incision, same one for both surgeries, stopped spasming or giving me occasional lightning bolts. I still hurt, and like some have said, that may never come to an end. My entire left side is constantly numb. It seems if I maintain correct posture while sitting, the pain isn't as bad. Slump over for an extended period, and I ache all the next day. I'm tired of this........ I hurt. I wish it was over, that it had never happened.
    A plus is, my lung function tests are improving, I lost a third of my left lung from the damage. I do get winded, but I've become a walking warrior, everyday, and I feel better because of it.

    I'm sorry for going on like I have...... felt good to get it off my chest, so to speak. Thanks for listening.

    Old 08-02-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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    Re: Thoracotomy pain

    My husband underwent this surgery in Oct. 05. To date, he is still having pain and taking meds for it. He has had chronic infections as a result and had to have a chest tube placed for drainage of empyema in June 2008. He constantly wonders why they can't remove his lung to prevent all of the drainage and pain he has. Hope all is better with you, and if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations, please post!!!

    Last edited by clctrax; 08-05-2009 at 10:07 AM.

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