Dry cough after surgery from bruising on lung

Portal Forums Lung/Thoracic Cancer NSCLC Early Stage/Surgery Dry cough after surgery from bruising on lung

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by catdander forum moderator catdander forum moderator 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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April 19, 2018 at 12:35 pm  #1294273    

mariem

Two and a half weeks ago, I had a robot-assisted upper left lung lobectomy, because of a 2 cm nodule, diagnosed to be Stage 1B lung cancer because of pleura involvement. No lymph node involvement. Before and after surgery I was taken off Coumadin and put on a Lovenox bridge, and then on day 5 after surgery, I restarted Coumadin. Up until Day 7, I was recovering well. Then, on Day 7 after surgery, I started having a dry cough which has gotten worse. No cough suppressants have helped. I can barely talk, and the pain from coughing is excruciating, especially in incision area. In talking with the surgeon’s office, they suggested that I come in for a chest x-ray, which led to a CT scan. This was two weeks after surgery. The x-ray and CT scan indicated spots on my lower left lung lobe, which weren’t there before surgery. We looked at all my previous scans, and the lower lobe was clear before surgery and in the x-rays taken while in the hospital after surgery. The doc doesn’t think cancer could have grown back that quickly and believes the spots are bruising on my lower lobe, perhaps from the blood thinner and basic trauma from surgery. He thinks that is what is causing the cough. Has anyone else had such a thing? Are there ways to promote healing of these bruises? The only time I don’t cough is when I’m asleep. I’ve tried codeine, tessalon perles, delsym, gabapentin, inhalers. Nothing seems to work. I never thought a cough could be this debilitating. I will go back in three weeks for a follow-up x-ray to see if the bruising has healed.

April 20, 2018 at 9:30 am  #1294280    
catdander forum moderator
catdander forum moderator

Hi mariem, I’m assuming you’re a new mariem and not the mariem member from several years ago?
Welcome to Grace and congrats on finding and getting rid of the cancer. Dr. West wrote about cough after lung surgery, ” There are many causes for a cough, so whether it improves over time is entirely dependent on whether it’s from inflammation, infection, or something else. Sometimes the surgery leads to mechanical changes in the chest that can lead to a chronic cough that may be evry chronic, if not permanent. I have rarely seen a patient develop a permanent cough after surgery, but I don’t think I could draw any conclusions with just limited information. I would often refer a patient of mine to a pulmonologist for evaluation of a chronic cough — perhaps a bronchoscopy or just another set of eyes on the case would be helpful.” http://cancergrace.org/forums/index.php?topic=989.0..

I can imagine how painful a bad cough can be, my husband also experienced that both before and after surgery. Hydro or oxycodone can usually control a cough and certainly control pain. Perhaps while your surgeon is waiting for possible bruising or inflammation to heal he can prescribe something to keep you pain free and cough free enough to function.

Edited to add that while it’s wasn’t studied much it is something that can be easily tried to fix and that’s the possibility that the esophagus was damaged in a way to cause acid reflux which can cause a nasty cough.

I hope you’re better soon.
All best,
Janine

April 20, 2018 at 4:43 pm  #1294284    

onthemark

Hi Mariem,

I also had the LUL with a 2cm stage 1B lesion due to visceral pleural involvement. I would ask to also see a lung specialist, or pulmonologist. Does your surgeon think your symptoms could be exacerbated by Coumadin? I hope you are feeling better soon.


10/2015 Chest xray found a nodule as part of a physical (no symptoms).
01/2016 Upper left lobe lingula preserving lobectomy stage 2b for 1.9 cm invasive adenocarcinoma with additional 2 mm AIS nodule found in pathology.
03-05/2016 Sixteen weeks of adjuvant cisplatin/vinorelbine.
07/2016 Durvalumab adjuvant clinical trial discontinued after 1st dose knocked out thyroid.
12/2016 Revised to stage 1b (due to VPI) after new guidelines for multifocal lepidic lung cancer.
07/2019 Next scan.

May 21, 2018 at 2:01 pm  #1294443    

mariem

Here’s an update on the cough: it lasted about four weeks, they think it was caused by bruising on my lower left lobe, and the bruising is starting to improve. It still shows up on x-rays, but it is slightly smaller. The only thing that got me through the incessant coughing (I couldn’t talk at all without coughing) was taking a codeine-based cough syrup and using Hall’s cough lozenges. It’s still not clear whether the bruising was the result of getting back on the blood thinner, since it started around that time, or something that happened during surgery. I have a follow-up CT scan in a month. I have nothing but empathy for those who suffer from such a cough post-surgery. I never would have imagined a cough being so painful and debilitating. I am now seven weeks post-op and feeling quite good. I still get some shortness of breath going upstairs and uphill, but other than that, I see light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks all for your support and suggestions.

May 21, 2018 at 6:30 pm  #1294445    

onthemark

I am glad to hear you are feeling better, Mariem.


10/2015 Chest xray found a nodule as part of a physical (no symptoms).
01/2016 Upper left lobe lingula preserving lobectomy stage 2b for 1.9 cm invasive adenocarcinoma with additional 2 mm AIS nodule found in pathology.
03-05/2016 Sixteen weeks of adjuvant cisplatin/vinorelbine.
07/2016 Durvalumab adjuvant clinical trial discontinued after 1st dose knocked out thyroid.
12/2016 Revised to stage 1b (due to VPI) after new guidelines for multifocal lepidic lung cancer.
07/2019 Next scan.

May 21, 2018 at 7:20 pm  #1294447    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

Hi mariem,

Thank you for the update and good news. As you say, cough can be extremely debilitating so it’s great to hear that you’ve put that in the past. The upcoming CT may provide some clues as to the cause of your cough, but it’s just as likely that you’ll never know for certain. I’m sure at this point knowing the cause is much less important to you than feeling better!

JimC
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: http://cancergrace.org/blog/jim-and-lisa

May 22, 2018 at 8:34 am  #1294449    
catdander forum moderator
catdander forum moderator

Hi Mariem, so good to hear you cough is better. Best of luck moving forward.
Janine

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