After lobectomy surgery - 1294857

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bumpus06
After lobectomy surgery - 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?

catdander
Hi bumpus06,

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,
Janine

JimC
Hi bumpus06,

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. - http://cancergrace.org/topic/post-thoracotomy-paindiscomfort#post-1260374

I hope this resolves for you soon.

JimC
Forum moderator

<p>I began visiting GRACE in July, 2008 when my wife Liz was diagnosed with lung cancer, and became a forum moderator in January, 2010. My beloved wife of 30 years passed away Nov. 4, 2011 after battling stage IV lung cancer for 3 years and 4 months</p>