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Lung Cancer

Vomiting after left pneumonectomy

02/10/2009

Question:

I have stage 3 non small cell lung cancer and had a left pneumonectomy 5 weeks ago. I was hospitalized for the past 3 days after having lost 20 lbs post op. I had been vomiting/nauseaus and was able to put together a couple of two day stretches when I did not vomit but could only eats bits of food. I have been on anti emetics since surgery. I had been on morphine in the hospital and oxycontin at home. I`m not sure if that was the problem, but now that I`m using dilaudid I have had 3 good days. It is common after a pneumonectomy to have problems with nausea or vomiting this far out post op? I also have difficulty if I talk a lot after eating. I begin to cough and that triggers vomiting.

Answer:

Thank you for your question. Vomiting after a pneumonectomy is not typical. Of more concern may be nausea and vomiting if postoperative pain is not well controlled or nausea secondary to pain medication. Proper nutrition will be essential to a full recovery from your surgery. Therefore, you should discuss with your provider methods for diet supplementation. In terms of cough following a meal, I would suggest that you discuss this with your health care provider as this may signal aspiration.

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Response by:

Patrick  Nana-Sinkam, MD Patrick Nana-Sinkam, MD
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University