What To Expect After Your Thoracic Surgery For Non

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This excerpt from About Your Thoracic Surgery describes what lớn expect after your thoracic surgery at MSK.

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In the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)

When you wake up after your surgery, you’ll be in the PACU. A nurse will be keeping track of your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, và oxygen levels. You may get oxygen through a tube resting below your nose or a mask covering your nose và mouth. You may also have compression boots on your lower legs. These gently inflate and deflate to help blood flow in your legs.

You may stay in the PACU for a few hours or overnight.

Tubes và Drains After Thoracic Surgery

You will have the following tubes và drains. Your healthcare provider will talk with you about what lớn expect.

A urinary (Foley) catheter: This is a tube that drains urine from your bladder. Your care team will keep track of how much urine you’re making while you’re in the hospital.A chest tube: This is a tube that drains blood, fluid, và air from around your lung. The tube is placed between your ribs và goes into the space between your chest wall and lung (see Figure 1). Your care team will keep track of how much drainage you have. Your chest tube will be removed when your lung is no longer leaking air. Most people go home the same day that their chest tube is removedDrainage device: This device is attached to lớn your chest tube. This is where the blood, fluid, & air drained from around your lung will go.

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Figure 1. A chest tube with a drainage device


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How to lớn Recover from Thoracic Surgery in Your Hospital Room

After you stay in the PACU, you will be taken lớn your hospital room. In your hospital room, you will meet one of the nurses who will care for you during your stay. Soon after you get there, a nurse will help you out of bed và into your chair.

Tell the nurse if you drink alcohol every day or if you have recently stopped drinking alcohol. Tell the nurse if you smoke or if you have recently quit smoking. They will offer you nicotine replacement therapy khổng lồ make you more comfortable while you’re in the hospital.

Your healthcare providers will teach you how khổng lồ care for yourself while you’re recovering from your surgery.

You can help yourself recover more quickly after thoracic surgery by:

Reading your recovery pathway. Your healthcare provider will give you a pathway with goals for your recovery if you bởi not already have one. It will help you know what lớn do and expect on each day during your recovery.Starting khổng lồ move around as soon as you can. The sooner you get out of bed & walk, the quicker you can get back to lớn your normal activities. Walking every 2 hours is a good goal. This will help prevent blood clots in your legs và lower your risk of developing pneumonia. You will have tubes & an IV line, so make sure you have help while you’re walking.Do your breathing and coughing exercises. Practice taking deep breaths and coughing every hour while you’re awake.

Managing Pain After Thoracic Surgery

You will have some pain after your thoracic surgery. At first, you’ll get your pain medication through your epidural catheter or IV line. You’ll be able to control your pain medication using a PCA device. Once your epidural catheter or IV line is removed, your care team will teach you how lớn give yourself pain medication through your feeding tube.

Your healthcare providers will ask you about your pain often và give you medication as needed. If your pain is not relieved, tell one of your healthcare providers. It’s important to lớn control your pain so you can use your incentive spirometer and move around. Controlling your pain will help you recover better.

You’ll get a prescription for pain medication before you leave the hospital. Talk with your healthcare provider about possible side effects and when to lớn start switching to over-the-counter pain medications.

Moving Around & Walking

Moving around và walking will help lower your risk for blood clots và pneumonia (lung infection). It will also help you start passing gas and having bowel movements (pooping) again. Your nurse, physical therapist, or occupational therapist will help you move around, if needed.

Read Frequently Asked Questions About Walking After Your Surgery lớn learn more about how walking after surgery can help you recover.

Read Call! Don"t Fall! to learn what you can bởi to stay safe và keep from falling while you’re in the hospital.

Eating and Drinking After Thoracic Surgery

You’ll slowly go back lớn eating solid foods starting the day after your thoracic surgery. Read your pathway and talk with your care team for more information.

If you have questions about your diet, ask lớn see a clinical dietitian nutritionist.

Leaving the Hospital

On the day of your discharge, plan to lớn leave the hospital around 11 a.m. Before you leave, your healthcare provider will write your discharge order and prescriptions. You’ll also get written discharge instructions. One of your healthcare providers will đánh giá them with you before you leave.Your doctor will talk with you if you need lớn stay in the hospital longer than planned. Examples of things that can cause you to lớn stay in the hospital longer include:Air leaking from your lung.Having an irregular heart rate.Having problems with your breathing.Having a fever of 101 °F (38.3 °C) or higher.Back lớn top

How khổng lồ Recover from Thoracic Surgery at Home

Read What You Can vì to Avoid Falling to lớn learn what you can vị to stay safe và keep from falling.

Filling Out Your Recovery Tracker

We want to know how you’re feeling after you leave the hospital. To lớn help us continue caring for you, we’ll send questions to your MyMSK tài khoản every day for 10 days after you leave the hospital. These questions are known as your Recovery Tracker.

Fill out your Recovery Tracker every day before midnight (12 a.m.). It only takes 2 to lớn 3 minutes. Your answers khổng lồ these questions will help us understand how you’re feeling and what you need.

Based on your answers, we may reach out lớn you for more information or ask you to hotline your surgeon’s office. You can always liên hệ your surgeon’s office if you have any questions. For more information, read About Your Recovery Tracker.

Using MyMSK

MyMSK (my.nhatroso.com) is your MSK patient portal account. You can use it to lớn send and read messages from your care team, view your chạy thử results, see your appointment dates & times, & more. You can also invite your caregiver to lớn make their own trương mục so they can see information about your care.

If you vị not have a MyMSK account, you can sign up at my.nhatroso.com. You can get an enrollment ID by calling 646-227-2593 or your doctor’s office.

For help, watch How lớn Enroll in MyMSK: Memorial Sloan Kettering"s Patient Portal. You can also liên hệ the MyMSK Help Desk by emailing or calling 800-248-0593.

Managing Your Pain at Home

People have pain or discomfort for different lengths of time. You may still have some pain when you go trang chủ and will probably be taking pain medication. Some people have soreness, tightness, or muscle aches around their incision for 6 months or longer. This does not mean something is wrong.

Follow these guidelines to lớn help manage your pain at home.

Some prescription pain medications (such as opioids) may cause constipation (having fewer bowel movements than usual).

Preventing & Managing Constipation

Talk with your healthcare provider about how lớn prevent và manage constipation. You can also follow the guidelines below.

You will have more than 1 incision after your thoracic surgery. The location of your incisions will depend on the type of surgery you had. There will be incisions from the surgical site & the chest tube. It’s normal for the skin below your incision lớn feel numb. This happens because some of your nerves were cut during your surgery. The numbness will go away over time.

Surgical Incision(s)By the time you’re ready to leave the hospital, your surgical incision(s) will have started to lớn heal.Look at your incision(s) with your nurse before you leave the hospital so you know what it looks like. This will help you know if there are any changes later.If any fluid is draining from your incision(s), write down the amount, color, and if it has a smell.If you go trang chủ with staples in your incision, your healthcare provider will take them out during your first appointment after surgery. It’s OK to get them wet.If you have Steri-Strips or Dermabond on your incision, they’ll loosen & fall or peel off on their own. If they have not fallen off after 10 days, you can take them off.Chest Tube IncisionYou may have some thin, yellow or pink-colored drainage from your chest tube incision. This is normal.Keep your incision covered with a bandage for 48 hours (2 days) after your chest tube is removed. If it gets wet, change it as soon as possible.After 48 hours, if you vì chưng not have any drainage, you can remove the bandage and keep your incision uncovered.If you have drainage, keep wearing a bandage until the drainage stops. Change it at least once a day or more often if the bandage becomes wet.Sometimes, the drainage may start again after it has stopped. This is normal. If this happens, cover the area with a bandage. điện thoại tư vấn your healthcare provider if you have questions.You may have some soreness in your back or chest after your chest tube is removed. This will go away in a few weeks.Sending Pictures khổng lồ Your Healthcare Provider

If you’re worried about how your incision is healing, talk with your healthcare provider. You can also send a picture of your incision to lớn your nurse. If you have a MyMSK account, send a picture in a message from your account. Messages are only checked on business days (Monday through Friday).

For more information about taking a good picture of your skin, read the resource Tips for Taking Pictures to nội dung with Your Healthcare Provider.

For instructions on signing up for a MyMSK account, watch How to lớn Enroll in MyMSK: Memorial Sloan Kettering"s Patient Portal.

Xem thêm: Phần Mềm Chụp Ảnh Phông Trắng Cho Ảnh Bằng Điện Thoại Cực Dễ

Showering After Thoracic Surgery

You can shower 48 hours (2 days) after your chest tube is removed. Take a shower every day lớn clean your incision. If you have staples in your incision, it’s OK to lớn get them wet.

Take your bandage(s) off before you shower. Use soap during your shower, but bởi not put it directly on your incision. Bởi not rub the area around your incision.

After you shower, pat the area dry with a clean towel. Cover your incision with a bandage if your clothing may rub it or if you have drainage.

Do not take tub baths until talking with your surgeon.

Eating & Drinking After Thoracic Surgery

You can eat all the foods you did before your thoracic surgery, unless your healthcare provider gives you other instructions. Eating a balanced diet with lots of calories và protein will help you heal after surgery. Try khổng lồ eat a good protein source (such as meat, fish, or eggs) at each meal. You should also try khổng lồ eat fruits, vegetables, và whole grains.

It’s also important khổng lồ drink plenty of liquids. Choose liquids without alcohol or caffeine. Try lớn drink 8 to lớn 10 (8-ounce) glasses of liquids every day.

For more information, read Eating Well During Your Cancer Treatment. If you have questions about your diet, ask lớn see a clinical dietitian nutritionist.

Exercising Your Lungs After Thoracic Surgery

It’s important to lớn exercise your lungs so they expand fully. This helps prevent pneumonia.

Do coughing & deep breathing exercises. A member of your care team will teach you how.

Managing Fatigue After Thoracic Surgery

It’s common to lớn have less energy than usual after your surgery. Recovery time is different for everyone. Increase your activities each day as much as you can. Always balance activity periods with rest periods. Rest is an important part of your recovery.

It may take some time until your normal sleep pattern returns. Try not to nap during the day. Taking a shower before bed & taking your prescribed pain medications can also help.

Your body is an excellent guide for telling you when you have done too much. When you increase your activity, monitor your body’s reaction. You may find that you have more energy in the morning or the afternoon. Plan your activities for times of the day when you have more energy.

Physical Activity and Exercise After Thoracic Surgery

When you leave the hospital, your incision may look healed on the outside, but it will not be healed on the inside. For the first 3 weeks after your surgery:

Do not lift anything heavier than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms).Do not vì chưng any high-energy activities (such as jogging & tennis).Do not play any tương tác sports (such as football).

Doing aerobic exercise, such as walking và stair climbing, will help you gain strength và feel better. Walk at least 2 lớn 3 times a day for 20 to 30 minutes. You can walk outside or indoors at your local mall or shopping center.

It’s normal to have less energy than usual after your surgery. Recovery time is different for each person. Increase your activities each day as much as you can. Always balance activity periods with rest periods. Rest is an important part of your recovery.

Strengthening Your Arm and Shoulder After Thoracic Surgery

Stretching exercises will help you regain full arm and shoulder movement. They will also help relieve pain on the side of your surgery.

Do the exercises in the “How to vị Stretching Exercises After Thoracic Surgery” section. Start doing them as soon as your chest tube is removed.

Use the arm và shoulder on the side of your surgery in all your activities. For example, use them when you bathe, brush your hair, & reach up khổng lồ a cabinet shelf. This will help restore full use of your arm và shoulder.

Loosening Your Mucus After Thoracic Surgery

Drink liquids to lớn help keep your mucus thin và easy to cough up. Ask your healthcare provider how much you should drink each day. For most people, this will be at least 8 khổng lồ 10 (8-ounce) glasses of liquid each day.

Use a humidifier while you sleep during the winter months. Make sure to lớn change the water và clean the humidifier often. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Smoking After Thoracic Surgery

Do not smoke. Smoking is harmful to lớn your health at any time, but it’s even more harmful as you’re healing. Smoking causes the blood vessels in your toàn thân to become narrow. This decreases the amount of oxygen that reaches your wounds as they’re healing.

Smoking can also cause problems with breathing and regular activities. It is also important to avoid places that are smoky. Your nurse can give you information lớn help you giảm giá khuyến mãi with other smokers or situations where smoke is present.

MSK has specialists who can help you quit smoking. For more information about our Tobacco Treatment Program, or to lớn make an appointment, call 212-610-0507.

Driving After Thoracic Surgery

Ask your healthcare provider when you can drive. Do not drive while you’re taking pain medication that may make you drowsy.

You can ride in a oto as a passenger at any time after you leave the hospital.

Traveling By Plane After Thoracic Surgery

Do not travel by plane until your doctor says it’s OK. They’ll talk with you about this during your first appointment after your surgery.

Sexual Activity After Surgery

Your healthcare provider will tell you when you can start having sexual activity. This is usually as soon as your incisions heal.

Going Back to Work

Talk with your healthcare provider about your job. They’ll tell you when it may be safe for you to lớn start working again based on what you do. If you move around a lot or lift heavy objects, you may need lớn stay out a little longer. If you sit at a desk, you may be able to lớn go back sooner.

Managing your feelings

After surgery for a serious illness, you may have new và upsetting feelings. Many people say they felt weepy, sad, worried, nervous, irritable, and angry at one time or another. You may find that you cannot control some of these feelings. If this happens, it’s a good idea to seek emotional support. Your healthcare provider can refer you to lớn MSK’s Counseling Center. You can also reach them by calling 646-888-0200.

The first step in coping is to talk about how you feel. Family và friends can help. Your healthcare providers can reassure, support, and guide you. It’s always a good idea to let us know how you, your family, and your friends are feeling emotionally. Many resources are available khổng lồ you and your family. Whether you’re in the hospital or at home, we’re here to lớn help you và your family và friends handle the emotional aspects of your illness.

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Follow-up Appointments

Your first appointment after surgery will be 1 to lớn 3 weeks after you leave the hospital. Your nurse will give you instructions on how to lớn make this appointment, including the phone number khổng lồ call.

During this appointment, your surgeon will discuss the pathology results with you in detail. You may also have appointments with other healthcare providers after your surgery.

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When to hotline Your Healthcare Provider

Call your healthcare provider if:

You have a fever of 101 °F (38.3 °C) or higher.You have swelling in your chest, neck, or face.You have a sudden change in your voice.You have not had a bowel movement for 3 days or longer.You have pain that does not get better with your medications.You’re having trouble breathing.The skin around your incision is warmer than usual.The skin around your incision is very red or getting more red.The area around your incision is starting to lớn swell or getting more swollen.You have drainage from your incision that smells bad or is thick or yellow.You have any questions or concerns.

Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. Lớn 5 p.m. Gọi your healthcare provider’s office. After 5 p.m., during the weekend, và on holidays, call 212-639-2000. Ask to lớn speak khổng lồ the person on gọi for your healthcare provider.

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How to vì Stretching Exercises After Thoracic Surgery

Stretching exercises will help you regain full arm and shoulder movement. You can start doing them once your chest tube is removed.

To bởi vì the exercises, follow the instructions below. One of your healthcare providers will tell you how many times to repeat each exercise.

You’ll need a straight-backed chair và a hand towel to vị these exercises.

Axillary Stretch

Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.Clasp your hands together in front of you (see Figure 2).