What Should You Expect After Lung Reduction Surgery?


Quick Answer

After lung reduction surgery, expect a stay of five to 10 days in the hospital. The recovery takes the form of pulmonary rehabilitation, starting a month to six weeks after surgery. The end result is improved lung function, according to Cleveland Clinic

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Full Answer

Lung volume reduction surgery has the goal of removing as much as 30 percent of each lung, decreasing its size while helping the lung work more efficiently. For patients suffering from predominant upper lobe disease and low exercise capacity, this is quite often a beneficial surgery. It is also important to be aware, after the surgery, of the risk of air leakage, notes Cleveland Clinic. The suture line into the chest cavity can result in some air leaks from the lung tissue.

Other conditions that improve through lung volume reduction surgery include emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and disabling dyspnea. Doctors use a series of tests including a chest X-ray, oxygen titration, CT scan, electrocardiogram, arterial blood gas test and pulmonary function to determine whether the surgery is appropriate, explains Cleveland Clinic. Patients who complete pulmonary rehabilitation according to the instructions from their doctor are significantly more likely to achieve the optimal outcome in terms of pulmonary function.

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