Immediately after the surgery, you will have a chest tube that will prevent any accumulation of air or fluid in the chest. There will be post-operative pain from the operation, and you will be given medication to treat the pain. If the pain is not controlled, please let your nurse or doctor know, as the medication may need to be adjusted. You will also need to walk or move about as early as possible in order to help your lung expand and aid your recovery.
Most patients will return to their original functioning after recovery from surgery. However, there is a possibility that the loss of lung from surgery may cause you to be more breathless on exertion than before. In rare instances, you may even require supplemental oxygen for a prolonged period of time after a lung resection. However, your doctor will perform an evaluation to determine how likely this is the case prior to recommending surgery.
After recovering from surgery, you will be given regular outpatient appointments to see your team of doctors. These visits may include scans to monitor and check if the cancer recurs.
It is important to follow your doctors’ advice, keep to scheduled clinic visits and do the prescribed tests so that timely treatment can be administered if the cancer or other problems arise.