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Lung Cancer

VATS procedure

07/22/2008

Question:

My husband had VATS (right) proceure for MPE, Bx and Pleurodesis approximateley 6 weeks ago. He does have multiple pulmonary nodules under 1cm on CT scan. The pleural bxs were positive for squamous cell carcinoma. The post op chest xray showed that the surgery was successful and the lung was reinflated. He was originally dx with laryngeal ca in 2004. He is still experiencing significant pain in the right chest area and lower back. He wakes up in pain 3-4x a night. He is taking extra strength tylenol and oxycodone. Is this pain to be expected six weeks following pleurodesis...if so, for how long? Is it possibly pain from the cancer (pulmonary nodules)?

Answer:

The pain can be from a number of sources. Postoperative pain is possible from the incisions or the pleurodesis. This can last for a number of months. Also possible is that there is pain from the cancer. Pain from lung nodules is less likely, but cancer invading the pleura (or chest wall) can be painful. If the pain persists, or if it is inadequately controlled, some patients benefit from consultation with a pain management expert.

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Response by:

Michael F Reed, MD Michael F Reed, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati