Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Includes Expert Content
    Chronic pain after lung lobe removal
    caligal12 posted:
    What can I do, as a caregiver, to make my friend more comfortable. His right side where the incision was made is extremely painful and even though he has pain medication, he's hurting. The pain meds have been cut in half because he was halucinating at times. I just want to be the best caregiver I can be and I am at a loss of what to do to help him. Any suggestions?.
    annette030 responded:
    Talk to his doctor and also his last nurse, basic nursing care can really help a lot. Does he have a home health nurse that you might consult with?

    Splinting the area with a pillow, and the proper ways to turn over in bed, and get in and out of bed help a lot with incisional pain.

    Take care, Annette
    Peter Abaci, MD responded:
    Your friend is very lucky to have such an empathetic and concerned caregiver. Good pain management after chest surgery is important because when it hurts a lot to breathe then the chest doesn't fully expand to fill the lungs. Not only does this prevent the body from getting the maximum amount of oxygen that it may need, but this can also lead to a collapse of some of the airwaves, also known as atelectasis. Atelectasis can result in more prolonged problems with oxygenation and could also lead to pneumonia in some cases.

    If your friend is not tolerating strong pain killers well, then consider talking to his doctors about adding other types of medications to help out like NSAIDS (ibuprofen for example) and Tylenol. Topical Lidoderm Patches could help if there is a place they could be placed that didn't interfere with the healing of the incisions. Coaching him through his breathing and encouraging him to take deep breaths helps prevent atelectasis. You being there for him to distract him through things like telling stories, reading, or watching shows and movies will no doubt be very appreciated.
    caligal12 replied to Peter Abaci, MD's response:
    Thank you for some insight. It has been 28 days now since the surgery, and considering the severity of this surgery, he is doing quite well. One thing that he complains about is the fact that he just doesn't have any energy and when it comes to eating, everything tastes bad which leads him to not want to eat. I have started adding a muscle building supplement that has a higher amount of protein than the Ensure alone doesn't provide, in a breakfast smoothie. He seems to like it. Considering the fact that I am not a nurse, I do have many years of hands on experience with people who have been ill in my family and among friends. Do you have any suggestions that may help me further with nutrition, etc. Again, thank you for your expertise and input.
    caligal12 replied to annette030's response:
    Thank you for your reply. I have talked with his doctors and have gotten some input, but the more the better.

    Featuring Experts

    Peter Abaci, MD , is certified in anesthesia and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Abaci received his undergraduate educat...More

    Helpful Tips

    Judging people with or without chronic pain
    I try not to judge people by anything they do if they aren't hurting themselves or someone else. Unfortunately, I know that I've been judge ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    1 of 8 found this helpful

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.