During lobectomy recovery, you will be moved to a recovery room where a team of healthcare providers will monitor you as the anesthesia wears off. If you need closer monitoring, you may be put in the intensive care unit overnight. In most cases, people need to stay in the hospital for five to seven days after their surgery. When it is time to leave the hospital, you will need to have someone someone drive you home.
When the lung lobectomy is finished, you'll be moved to a recovery room where the healthcare team will watch over you closely as you wake up from the anesthesia. If you need closer monitoring for a longer period of time, you may be put in the intensive care unit, or ICU, overnight. Your doctor will talk about your lobectomy with your family or friends, and they will be able to visit you at scheduled times.
As you wake up, you might begin to feel some aches and pains in your chest and throat. Your healthcare provider can give you medicine to help with this.
You may still have a breathing tube in place after the surgery. Some people find it a little strange to breathe with the tube in at first, but it usually feels more normal after doing it for a little while. The breathing tube will be taken out as soon as your healthcare provider and team feels that you can breathe on your own. For most people, this happens on the same day as the surgery.
Your chest tubes will only be taken out when the air and fluid has stopped leaking from your lung. The tubes may be connected to a pleurovac, which is a machine that helps drain the air and fluid from your chest cavity. Just like a cut in your skin forms a scab to heal, your lung needs to heal over to stop the fluid and air leaks. This healing process is different for each person, but it usually takes about three to four days.
Sometimes during lobectomy recovery, patients may shiver or feel sick to their stomach. Both of these symptoms can be caused by the anesthesia. Again, your healthcare providers can give you medication to help relieve these symptoms. You will rest in either the recovery room or the ICU until your healthcare providers feel that you are recovering well. Then you will be transferred to a hospital room.