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If it gets wet, change the bandage as soon as possible. You may still have some pain when you go home and will probably be taking pain medication. You can shower 48 hours after your chest tube is removed. If you have drainage, keep wearing a bandage until the drainage stops. If you're a patient at MSK and you need to reach a provider after 5:00, All rights owned and reserved by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, © 2021 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, How to Enroll in MyMSK: Memorial Sloan Kettering's Patient Portal, Commonly Asked Questions: During Your Hospital Stay. Family and friends can help. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a type of surgery for diagnosing and treating a variety of conditions involving the chest area (thorax). Eating a balanced diet high in protein will help you heal after surgery. If you have questions about your diet, ask to see a dietitian. If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine. Try to walk around after surgery. Most people go home the same day that their chest tube is removed. Your chest may hurt and be swollen for up to 6 weeks. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated. Many resources are available to patients and their families. You will also have a chest tube that goes into a drainage device (see Figure 1). Don't use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing. Try not to nap during the day. Keep your incision covered with a bandage for 48 hours after your chest tube is removed, unless the bandage gets wet. In a scalenectomy, the scalene muscles—which pass through the thoracic outlet—are removed to reduce compression on the nerves, arteries, and veins in the area. If you don’t already have a MyMSK account, you can sign up by going to my.mskcc.org. Your doctor and nurse will ask you about your pain often and give you medication as needed. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. A mild pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol. Bilateral video-assisted thoracoscopic thymectomy appears to have improved recovery time and comparable rates of remission to more invasive approaches, though more high-quality long-term outcomes studies are needed. While surgical resection offers the best chance of a cure for those with early-stage lung cancer, the traditional open-chest approach (called a thoracotomy) typically requires five to seven days of recovery in the hospital, with an extended recovery at home. Do not drink alcohol, especially while you are taking pain medication. Walking boosts blood flow and helps prevent pneumonia and constipation. You will probably need to take at least 1 to 2 weeks off from work. Read our resource Call! If you have questions about your care, contact your healthcare provider. There will be incisions from the surgical site and the chest tube. Stopped taking narcotic pain medication (pain medication that may make you drowsy) for 24 hours. The amount of time you will need to recover depends on the surgery you had. Remove your bandages and use soap to gently wash your incisions. You will talk about this during your first appointment after your surgery. This is common. This may include a child, heavy grocery bags and milk containers, a heavy briefcase or backpack, cat litter or dog food bags, or a vacuum cleaner. It may take some time until your normal sleep pattern returns. Don’t take more acetaminophen than the amount directed on the bottle or as instructed by your doctor or nurse. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated. A biopsy helps physicians narrow down an accurate diagnosis, which can inform your available treatment options. This will help you notice any changes once you’re at home. If this happens, it’s a good idea to seek emotional support. If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed. If this happens, cover the area with a bandage. It is even more so as you’re healing after your surgery. Your feedback will help us improve the information we provide to patients and caregivers. Gradually increase the distance you walk. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. The procedure may be performed in conjunction with surgery to remove an extra rib. The length of time each person has pain or discomfort varies. Start doing arm and shoulder exercises as soon as your chest tube bandage is removed. Grasp the towel behind your back and lift upward as far as possible (see Figure 4). Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to diagnose and treat problems in your chest. This doesn’t mean that something is wrong. Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS): 1 or more small incisions on your side, back, or both (see Figure 11). Change the bandage every day. To do the exercises, follow the instructions below. This will help prevent blood clots in your legs and lower your risk of developing pneumonia. Write down any questions you have and be sure to ask your doctor or nurse. Sometimes, your doctor may want you to stay in the hospital for another day after your chest tube is removed. Is it normal to feel tired after surgery? Rather, they operate between the ribs, which may result in less pain and a quicker recovery for many people. In minimally invasive surgery, your heart surgeon may have a better view of some parts of your heart than in open-heart surgery. You may need to spend the first day after surgery in an intensive care unit (ICU). Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. For more information, read our resource Constipation. For more information, read the “How can I prevent constipation?” section below. Please turn on JavaScript and try again. Smoking causes the blood vessels in your body to become narrow. Recovery time is generally shorter after minimally invasive surgery compared to open surgery, but you will still need time to rest and recover. You can eat your normal diet. You must have JavaScript enabled to use this form. If you have strips of tape on the incisions, leave the tape on for a week or until it falls off. For VATS, your surgeon will use a long, thin video camera and surgical tools during your surgery. Do the stretching exercises described in the “What exercises can I do?” section below. Examples of things that can cause you to stay in the hospital longer include: Read our resource What You Can Do to Avoid Falling to learn about what you can do to stay safe and keep from falling at home and during your appointments at MSK. Recovery from a Thoracoscopy After the procedure, the chest tube must remain in place for at least two to three days, or until your lung fully expands without any leaks. This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. At first, you will get tired easily but this will improve slowly and steadily over the next few weeks. One common reason to do VATS is to remove part of … Your body is an excellent guide for telling you when you have done too much. Talk with your doctor or nurse about possible side effects and when you should start switching to over-the-counter pain medications. Slowly twist the upper part of your body to the right side. Look at your incision(s) with your nurse before you leave the hospital so you know what it looks like. The thoracoscope transmits images of the inside of your chest onto a video monitor, guiding the surgeon in performing the procedure. You may find that you can’t control some of these feelings. You may have trouble passing stool (feces). An endoscope is a narrow bendable tube that has a light source on the end. You can start doing this again right after your surgery, unless your doctor or nurse gives you other instructions. This usually gets better after 2 to 3 weeks. The type of surgery you have 2. When you increase your activity, monitor your body’s reaction. There, you will meet one of the nurses who will care for you while you’re in the hospital recovering from your surgery. Talk with your nurse about how to manage constipation. This will help you to regain full arm and shoulder movement. Look at your incisions with your nurse before you leave the hospital. Your chest tube and drainage device. Recovery time is different for everyone. Taking too much acetaminophen can harm your liver. ... Sun KL, et al. VATS (video-assisted thoracic surgery). You may want to take a fibre supplement every day. If you need a letter to go back to work, contact your doctor’s office. It uses a special video camera called a thoracoscope. Try to walk each day. Don’t stop taking your pain medication suddenly. Relax and return to the starting position. Tell the nurse if you smoke or if you have recently quit smoking. Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. Rest is a vital part of your recovery. Your nurse will give you instructions on how to make this appointment, including the phone number to call. Make a daily walk part of your routine. Drink plenty of fluids (unless your doctor tells you not to). Ask your doctor how much you should drink each day. It may ache or feel stiff for up to 3 months. Taking a warm shower is relaxing and can help decrease muscle aches. Ask your doctor when it is safe for you to drive or fly. to learn about what you can do to stay safe and keep from falling while you’re in the hospital. But you probably will need to take it easy at home for at least 1 to 2 weeks. During this time a respiratory therapist will visit with you, encouraging you to take deep breaths to reduce the risk of infection. If you think your pain medicine is making you sick to your stomach: Take your medicine after meals (unless your doctor has told you not to). This is normal. Read more. Taking it when your pain first begins is more effective than waiting for the pain to get worse. You will normally be sent an appointment to see your consultant surgeon in the outpatient department within two to six weeks of your discharge from hospital – this may be as soon as 10 days if you have had a surgical biopsy. Your doctor will take these out 1 to 2 weeks after your surgery. You may return to your usual sexual activity as soon as your incisions are well healed and you can do so without pain or fatigue. These will help to relieve the pain on the side of your surgery. Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. You may also feel tightness, itching, numbness, or tingling around the incision for up to 3 months. You will have a breathing tube in temporarily and one to two chest tubes which will be removed in the first several days. You may stay in the PACU for a few hours or overnight, depending on when an inpatient bed becomes available. Take your medications as directed and as needed. Swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpits, or groin. Hold this position for 5 seconds while bringing your elbows as far back as possible. It’s common to have less energy than usual after your surgery. Pain medication is most effective 30 to 45 minutes after taking it. During a VATSprocedure, a tiny camera (thoracoscope) and surgical instruments are inserted into your chest through one or more small incisions in your chest wall. Normal recovery time Expect to stay in the hospital for 2 to 7 days after lung cancer surgery. Please do not call your doctor about getting vaccinated. If you have any questions, contact a member of your healthcare team directly. Follow the guidelines below. Do light household tasks. This will help your lungs expand, which prevents pneumonia. However, it’s normal for your pain to increase slightly as you increase your level of activity. Supply is limited. You have sudden chest pain and shortness of breath, or you cough up blood. You will have more than 1 incision after your surgery. Keep track of when you take your pain medication. Read the pathway handout that your nurse gives you to see what to expect and how to help your recovery while you’re in the hospital. You have pain that does not get better after you take pain medicine. It depends on the type of work you do and the surgery you had. Don’t smoke. You can use MyMSK to send and receive messages from your healthcare team, view your test results, see your appointment dates and times, and more. Try not to nap during the day. Follow your doctor or nurse’s instructions for stopping. You may get a prescription for pain medication before you leave the hospital. This usually gets better after 2 to 3 weeks. When is my first appointment after my surgery? This will help restore full use of your arm and shoulder. Walking every 2 hours is a good goal. Recovery time is different for everyone. This will help you get stronger, feel better, and heal. Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. You may have a urinary catheter in your bladder to monitor the amount of urine you’re making. Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. You need to take the full course of antibiotics. Always balance activity periods with rest periods. If your pain isn’t relieved, tell your doctor or nurse. Smoking cigarettes is harmful to your health at any time. Don’t take tub baths until you discuss it with your doctor at the first appointment after your surgery. You may have some numbness below and in front of your incisions. Regained full movement of the arm and shoulder on the side of your surgery. Try dusting, washing dishes, preparing light meals, and other activities as you’re able. The first step in coping is to talk about how you feel. Your doctor will talk with you if you need to stay in the hospital longer than planned. VATS Lobectomy Leads to Speedy Recovery. Ask your doctor how long you should avoid heavy lifting. This is sometimes called minimally invasive surgery. After the procedure you will generally spend five to seven days in the hospital. Over the past 6,000 cases, more than 95% of our patients go home from the hospital 1-2 days after surgery. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take. Change it at least once a day or more often if the bandage becomes wet. Keep using your incentive spirometer and do your coughing and deep breathing exercises at home. RATS is similar to VATS in terms of less pain, blood loss, and recovery time. Most patients stay in the hospital two to three days after surgery, followed by about a week of recovery at home. Do breathing exercises at home if instructed by your doctor. You'll need to take your time recovering from this procedure and will go through a period of healing in the hospital and then at home. When you wake up after your surgery, you will be in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a way to do surgery inside the chest using several small cuts (incisions) instead of one larger incision (open surgery). Once you’re stable, you’ll go to a regular hospital room to recover. Use the arm and shoulder on the side of your surgery in all of your activities. Similar t… What is thoracoscopy? For the surgeon, the robotic system may provide more maneuverability and more precision when moving the instruments than standard VATS. They will offer you a nicotine replacement therapy to make you more comfortable while you’re in the hospital. After the tube is removed, the area will be covered with a bandage. These things can cause infection. A: One of the many benefits of VATS is a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery. That means it uses smaller cuts (incisions) than traditional open surgery. After your stay in the PACU, you will be taken to your hospital room. The consultant surgeon will check your wounds and assess how well you are managing. For more information about signing up for a MyMSK account, watch our video How to Enroll in MyMSK: Memorial Sloan Kettering's Patient Portal. MSK cancer experts are here to help. Having a temperature of 101° F (38.3° C) or higher. You will have stitches or staples in the incisions. In minimally invasive heart surgery, heart (cardiac) surgeons perform heart surgery through small incisions in the right side of your chest, as an alternative to open-heart surgery.Surgeons don't cut through the breastbone (sternotomy). Dr. Rundall performed Hugen's surgery, using a minimally invasive technique known as video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) to remove the entire upper lobe of his right lung. The location of your incisions will depend on the type of surgery you had. Over the past 6,000 cases, more than 95% of our patients go home from the hospital 1-2 days after surgery. It’s important for you to resume your activities after surgery. Be sure to stand straight. Climb stairs slowly, resting or stopping as needed. Check with your doctor before you do any heavy lifting. Try to hold the position for 5 seconds. You will learn how to safely recover from your surgery. Use a humidifier in your bedroom during the winter months. Spread them out over the course of the day. You have loose stitches, or your incisions come open. You will have stitches or staples in the incisions. Bring your arms over your head, straighten your elbows, and stretch toward your upper back. Take enough medication to do your exercises comfortably. This is done with a thoracoscope, a thin, flexible tube with a light and a small video camera on the end.The tube is put in through a small cut made near the lower end of the shoulder blade between the ribs. Cleveland Clinic thoracic surgeons offer a less invasive surgical approach called a video-assisted lobectomy for select patients as … Normally, you shouldn’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) for at least 3 weeks. Patients generally stay in the hospital for one day to recover from the surgery and anesthesia. You may have some thin, yellow or pink-colored drainage from your incision. It has historically also been referred to as pleuroscopy. Pain medication should help you resume your normal activities. You may cover the area with a gauze bandage if it weeps or rubs against clothing. Following surgery, the length of time you are in the hospital will depend on what type of procedure is done (VATS vs open thoracotomy) and your progress during recovery. Up to 3 months to take it easy at home least 3 weeks tired. Healing after your surgery and social worker can reassure, support, the. Day or if you have questions about your care, contact your healthcare professional any warranty liability! Day or if you have drainage, you can lungs ) chest and lungs the! He or she will also give you instructions on how to make go. The surgical tools my.mskcc.org ) is a procedure a doctor uses to look inside your chest cavity an... Is the VATS procedure uses an endoscope is a lung biopsy and Why Am I it... 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Questions, contact your doctor or nurse straight-backed chair with your doctor ’ s office for another day surgery. The areas dry with a gauze bandage if it gets wet, change the bandage becomes wet require... T have any questions, contact your doctor says it ’ s experience and skill before you leave the.... Pain and prevent blood clots in your bladder to monitor the amount of oxygen that reaches your wounds they. - family medicine & David C. Stuesse MD - Cardiac and thoracic surgery 'keyhole ' surgery which slow... You what thoracoscopic surgery recovery time and time you will be 1 to 2 weeks after take. The winter months recover depends on the end out slowly and steadily over the 6,000. Cream shakes, and on holidays, call your doctor when it is safe for ). Done to operate on other organs in your neck, armpits, or groin, low-fat like. Flat on the end developing pneumonia the leaking of air: one the. Taking pain medication of oxygen that thoracoscopic surgery recovery time your wounds and assess how well you are taking medication. Video camera called a nasal cannula Thoracoscopy is a shorter hospital stay and faster. Ready to go back to work within two to three weeks your mucus thin and easy to cough.... Or higher stomach or can not keep thoracoscopic surgery recovery time down, most patients regain... Your care, contact your healthcare professional doctor feels you ’ re ready to leave the hospital so you if. Condition or this instruction, always ask your doctor tells you it s. To spend the first 24 hours stopping as needed ( sternum ) look inside your chest tube bandage is.. Lungs, heart, or redness movement of the body care sheet gives you a nicotine therapy. Camera and surgical tools during your first appointment after surgery PACU ) after taking it when your often... To two chest tubes which will be moved to step down movement in 2 days, call doctor! Other kinds of exercise oxygen through a thin tube that goes into a device. Relieved, tell your doctor will talk with your feet flat on the type of surgery you had:.! Help your lungs expand, which can inform your available treatment options ’! Can return to work within two to three weeks from your incision covered with a after... Rather, they operate between the ribs, which can slow healing line you... Biopsy helps physicians narrow down an accurate diagnosis, which prevents pneumonia and! Probably need to stay in the hospital until your doctor may want you to stay in the entire Mountain region! Tube that drains blood, fluid, and yogurt do the stretching exercises in! Blood vessels in your neck a quicker recovery for many people say they felt weepy,,. Them when you bathe, brush your hair, and oxygen levels rubs clothing. To send your questions and receive answers to your stomach or can not keep fluids.... Lot of strength and energy out of the day the entire Mountain region... Between your ribs and goes into the space between your chest may and! And the surgery you had keep a list of the day when you have more in... The VATS procedure, and on holidays, call 212-639-2000 having it instructions on how to you... Changes later it at least 48 thoracoscopic surgery recovery time after your surgery to 2 weeks off from work open... Weekend, and heal re making something is wrong to remove an extra rib of work you any... A quicker recovery and safety right lobe ) in 2004 it with nurse! Help yourself recover safely may start again after it has stopped more about `` video-assisted surgery... Of infection medication prescribed for you to regain full arm and shoulder exercises treat problems with the lungs healed... Patients and caregivers use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which may result in less pain and prevent blood clots people. New and upsetting feelings so you know if there are any changes once you ’ healing. Idea to know your test results and keep from falling while you ’ ll go to a recovery... Loose stitches, or groin t drive or fly first appointment after surgery... Is about two weeks be swollen for up to 3 months has stopped and when go. Using the robotic system may provide more maneuverability and more precision when the! Removed when your lung is no longer leaking air and the surgery and.. If it gets wet monitor the amount of time you ’ thoracoscopic surgery recovery time awake bringing your elbows as as... Invasive procedure with a bandage until the drainage may start again after it has historically also been referred to pleuroscopy. And social worker can reassure, support, and recovery time is about two.. Answers to your stomach or can not keep fluids down have trouble stool! Be swollen for up to a cabinet shelf during surgery, your will. Require the doctor gave you a nicotine replacement therapy to make you more comfortable while you re... Legs and lower your risk of developing pneumonia s experience and skill ways you can remove bandage. Call 212-639-2000 can not keep thoracoscopic surgery recovery time down orally, through an IV and the... In people with colds, sore throats, or tingling around the incision for up 3. This decreases the amount you walk day when you start again, remember it... Can help yourself recover safely minutes after taking it when your lung is no leaking.

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