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A 38-year-old member asked:

what is average thoracotomy recovery time?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alexandre De Moura
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 31 years experience
Short: 2-4 weeks ...The wound should heal in 10-14 days.
Dr. Payam Rafat
Podiatry 22 years experience
Recovery time varies: Recover time will vary depending on many factors including age, general health of the patient, infection control, smoker or not, blood sugar control, the exact type of procedure, and post-operative and follow up care. Discuss it with your surgeon and get their opinion as to what they feel is a reasonable recovery time for you.

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A 48-year-old member asked:

How long after a thoracotomy for pneumo can I return to work?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Eric Toloza
Thoracic Surgery 30 years experience
Depends on work: Limitations that might prevent one from returning to work are related to post-operative pain or pain medications, e.g. No driving while on pain medications or if having significant pain; no heavy lifting, no straining or strenuous activity. Usually, one may return if one may return to work sooner if desk job, but later if physical work. Also sooner if latissimus and/or serratus muscles wre spared.
A 39-year-old member asked:

What should yoou expect from a thoracotomy?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Eric Toloza
Thoracic Surgery 30 years experience
Depends: Immediately after thoracotomy, there will be a chest drain that your surgeon will remove when drainage slows and after any air leak from your lung resolves, usually less than a week unless you have bad emphysema. Then a few weeks to few months of gradually weening of narcotics. Shorter if surgeon did not cut the latissimus and/or serratus muscles, i.e. Muscle-sparing thoracotomy.
A 39-year-old member asked:

Why would someone need a thoracotomy for pneumothorax?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Everett
Thoracic Surgery 32 years experience
Prevent recurrence: Usually can be done with a video assisted technique avoiding a true thoracotomy. Recurrence is the usual indication for surgery or job/recreation that involve pressure changes such as scuba diviers and pilots.
A 42-year-old member asked:

How is a thoracotomy done?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Guyer
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 46 years experience
Entering chest: The chest is entered either between the ribs and may invlove removing a rib. With newer mis techniques this can often be avaoided.
A 39-year-old member asked:

Typical thoracotomy recovery time?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Weston
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 31 years experience
?Open : Or thoracoscopic for what reason did you have it open hurt for months.

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Last updated Dec 10, 2018

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