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What should I expect after having lung surgery for lung cancer?

You will be a little more short of breath because you have a portion of your lung removed. Patients will probably be on pain pills for usually about a week or two after surgery. A cough is not uncommon from irritation of breathing tubes. You might also be coughing up a little blood; sometimes there’s blood left in windpipe from the surgery. Most people go right home. You can typically return to work in two to three weeks, and you’ll be back to full activity in four to six weeks. A lot of that depends on what their lung function is prior to surgery as well as overall health, but most people tolerate the surgery quite well.

What you should expect after having lung surgery for lung cancer will depend on the type of surgery. You may be hospitalized until stable, go through pulmonary rehab and will certainly have ongoing surveillance.

You will feel exhausted and perhaps even a bit depressed after lung surgery. Your doctors will help you address these challenges after surgery.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.