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What to expect during recovery after robotic lobectomy

Hi, all. I was diagnosed with lung cancer last September, a 6.1cm tumor in my upper right lobe; it had not spread to any other organs, and was not touching anything in the lung. After four rounds of chemo and a robotic lobectomy surgery in late March, I am cancer-free. I was very fortunate, what my surgeon is calling a medical miracle, but I tend to chalk it up more to his rock star surgical skills! I was concerned about a numbness combined with a tingling sensation on my right side after the initial soreness from surgery wore off, and was reassured by seeing in this forum that many others were describing similar side effects. In my case, that is still the case. Now though, eight weeks after surgery, I have something else going on, and hope that I can find any mention of a similar issue. In the past several weeks, in addition to that numbness and tingling, there is the feeling that my insides are shifting around inside of me (I can actually see the movement in my chest by the way my scars move around), and feel the change just by looking at my side. For this period of time, I have been having stabbing pains on my top right rib section from inside, often so sharp that I involitarily cry out in pain or wake myself up with a loud cry in the middle of the night. I joked to my husband that it felt like I was carrying a kicking alien baby, but then decided it felt more like the evil spawn of Edward Scissorhands! I'm starting to get concerned, and wonder if anyone else has had similar pain? Any response would be much appreciated! Many thanks, Karen Watkins

  1. Oop! Typo alert! Should read "involuntarily"above.

    1. I had my thoractomy (full fledge open thoracic surgery) 21 years ago. I still experience some numbness, but minimal. However, I sometimes feel like my insides are moving inside behind ribs, similar to what you described. I had an MRI, sonogram, CTs, etc., one doctor swears it is my thoracic scoliosis (you cannot see it from the outside, I don't have a hunch or anything but I'm twisted inside). Another doctor says it is from costochronditis. No one really knows, so as long as it is not cancer and doesn't happen often, I've been dealing with it because no one really knows. You are the only other person I have heard this happending to! Thanks for sharing, we can keep each other posted if we learn anything knew! All the best, Alisa, LungCancer.net Team

      1. No, after the surgery I just assumed it was part of the recovery process. (I know it's not gall bladder, as mine was removed 50+ years ago!) Only now am I uncomfortable enough to think about calling my surgeon's office to see what they think. I may do that in the morning, but hope it is somewhat normal. My biggest fear is that they will want to open me up again to fix the issue. Not only can I not stand the thought of more surgery, my husband is disabled and relies on me for his care. When I had the lung surgery, our son flew in from L.A. for ten days to take care of his dad, and then me when I got home from the hospital. Our son, Gabe, is really busy now after the long closures because of Covid, and I'd hate to have to ask him to come in again.

      2. Hi, again. Well, I didn't call my surgeon, but am definitely going to do so in the morning after a conversation I had today with an old friend. Asked how I was doing after the surgery, I told her about the most disturbing thing now, the sharp jabbing pain I've had for the last month or more. Her immediate reaction was, "Oh my god, that sounds just like the pain I had with adhesions after my surgery!" (It was a different type of surgery, but the postoperative pain the same.) I did more specific research, and am going to call the surgeon tomorrow for sure. I have a serious fear that more surgery is in my immediate future...

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