After lobectomy surgery

Portal Forums Lung/Thoracic Cancer NSCLC Early Stage/Surgery After lobectomy surgery

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July 10, 2018 at 10:33 am  #1294857    


I had stage 1 lung cancer. Had lobectomy 11 weeks ago. Removed bottom two lobes, right lung. No chemo needed. Taking Cymbalta for nerve pain and it has calmed down. Severe tightness under my right breast and very heavy on right side. Will this go away? Is this common? The severe tightness isn’t the same as the pain I was having but almost unbearable. Anybody?

July 10, 2018 at 12:32 pm  #1294859    
catdander forum moderator
catdander forum moderator

Hi bumpus06,

Welcome to Grace. Congratulations on completing your definitive treatment. It can take a long time to recover from a thoracotomy, as long as or longer than any other type of surgery. So give yourself time to heal even up to a year many patients would say. Your chest will need to adjust to the space left by the 2 lobes. It is common to have pain from nerve damage and there are drugs you might want to try to calm that pain, Pregabalin (lyrica) and gabapentin. Gabapentin is the older drug and no longer under patent so a generic version is available (cheaper option if it works). If you need stronger pain meds for none nerve pain you may want to ask you doctor about oxycodone.

Always let your surgeon/medical team know of the pain your having in case there are concerns they may want to address.

I hope you don’t have further problems and this will be a bad memory very soon.
All best,

July 10, 2018 at 12:35 pm  #1294860    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

Hi bumpus06,

Welcome to GRACE. I’m sorry to hear of your post-surgery discomfort, but this is not unusual. As Dr. West has stated:

[P]lenty of patients describe a sensation of tightening/discomfort in their chest after lung surgery or radiation. This corresponds to scarring/fibrosis in the area. Just as a burn leads to tightening of the skin when it scars, radiation or surgery leads to a tightening of the tissue and a sensation of traction in the area for many people. Also, the contents of the chest shift after a surgery removes a significant portion of a lung, or an entire lung, so that shifting within the chest over the weeks to months after surgery can be uncomfortable. –

I hope this resolves for you soon.

Forum moderator

Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Tarceva maintenance
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
Since then:

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