What to Expect After Surgery for Lung Cancer
After surgery, you may have to stay in the hospital for a few days. How long you must stay depends on these things:
How much of your lung was removed
How extensive the surgery was
How well you begin to recover from the surgery
Here’s an overview of how you might feel after lung surgery:
For the first few days, you are likely to have pain from the cut called the incision. Your pain can be controlled with medicine. Talk with your doctor or nurse about your options for pain relief. Some people are hesitant to take pain medication, but doing so can actually help your healing. If you don’t control pain well, for example, you may not want to cough or turn over often, which you need to do as you recover from surgery.
You may have constipation from using pain medicine, from not moving much, or from not eating much. Talk with your doctor or nurse about getting more dietary fiber or using stool softeners or stimulants to help you avoid constipation.
Depending on the results of the surgery you may have either chemotherapy or radiation afterwards. The goal is to reduce the chance that any cells that may remain won’t spread. Having another type of treatment soon after surgery is called adjuvant therapy.