The difficulty level of recovery from fluid in the lungs after surgery depends on the type of surgery performed, whether lung tissue was removed and the overall health of the patient prior to surgery, according to MedlinePlus. The average recovery period is six to eight weeks.
A patient typically takes four to six weeks off from work after lung surgery, notes MedlinePlus. During that period, he should limit initial physical activity to two or three short walks a day, and stage the home to minimize the need to use stairs. Light housework is fine after two weeks, but yard work should be avoided for three to four weeks. Patients should discuss the resumption of sexual activity and driving with their physician.