Post operative care for thoracotomy?

So, you just underwent a thoracotomy, eh? Well aren’t you just the cat’s meow! You’ve survived being cut open like a Thanksgiving turkey and now it’s time to move on to greener pastures… with a little bit of help. Cue post-operative care.

What is Thoracotomy?

Thoracotomy is surgery that makes an incision between your ribs to access your lungs or heart. Your surgeon may need this type of access in order to treat cancer or perform other surgeries.

A Painful Recovery

First things first- let’s get one thing clear. This recovery process ain’t no cakewalk (unless there happens to be cake at the end). The majority of people who undergo this surgery experience excessive pain and prolonged hospitalization that can make even the strongest person want to cry into their pillow all day long (we’ve all been there).

Managing Pain

One way we deal with beating down pain would be by prescribing medication such as opioids e.g morphine() or hydromorphone(()). They do come hand in hand with side effects which include nausea, vomiting and constipation but guess what everything has its price so stay strong champ. When you leave our department don’t stop taking them abruptly ,tapering down gradually always works best.

How Do I Manage My Incisions?

Right after undergoing any surgical procedure one component stays constant–wound care (). Even if suction drains are placed keep tabs on drainage amounts(Tip:keep record daily ) and once it reaches too low remove them.evalute incisions three times a day keenly noting how they appear.Possibly cover nipples/areolas using petrolatum jelly only sparingly.Tension sutures removed after 5 days absent skin compromise( contrary continue distributing pressure across wound along with applying adhesive strips adjacent to the incision. Non-adhesive pads as well as paper tape can help keep the gauze and wound in place.Removing steri-strips after a week paves way medication/drug topical epidermal growth factor.

Resuming Regular Showers

Yay you can now shower like any other hygienic person, first clean your hand thoroughly before proceeding with removing dressing(Tip:Take your time).Before resuming normal soap usage,take precaution whereby washing using waterless no-rinse soap for whilst careful not rubbing incisions. When finished pat dry gently on dressings/allow them air-dry.Refrain from soaking wounds such pools or hot tubs until doctor’s clearance.

Switching Up Your Wardrobe

It’s time dust off those skinny jeans/khakis/trousers that have been calling your name! However following abdominal surgery have a preference for loose fitting clothing which does not touch the affected area directly(^1).Expectancy of oozing fluid/discharge through drain site?Sanitary napkins will do nicely.The belts are hung back up till further notice however elastic waistbands/shirt and zipper-less sweatpants earned permanent residence

General Body Care

Remind yourself there was more than one organ system we took care of hence general body changes.(We take pride in our work like CEOs)So frequent use of deep-breathing exercises helps expand lungs thus preventing infections.Prioritize intake foods high calorie count inclusive herbal supplements wisely and monitor bowel movements ,doctors prescribe stool softeners before discharged early.Go ahead hydrating much water still but alcohol-free drinks which avoid dehydration And everyone knows smoking impedes functioning so please refrain from it.

## Getting Active

Let us level here taking personal responsibility ensures quicker recovery.Getting outta bed lifts spirits thus promoting faster timeline for discharge.Improvise sitting moving legs while on bed(hours after procedure has ended) as it lessen risk of thrombosis. Every thirty minutes one can take their time walking thus gradually increase distance.This do help build endurance backed with stretching exercises which reduce muscle stiffness

Return to Work

Sure there’s the temptation to rush back into work/bosses called about you being gone too long but hold on buddy.We would never leave a comrade stranded in this world.So, peradventure occupation is strictly desk bound go ahead get started earlier than if job involved heavy lifting and general labor(^3).Pace here is of essence however any signs discomfort/hiccups resume resting.


It takes good instincts trusting the process will pay off .What doesnt challenge us makes us recover slower so consider taking those pills,eating taking care of incisions alongside rest.Tress no more fellow warrior (no pun intended) lets inch slowly but surely towards full recovery together..

Random Posts