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Decortication of lung

What is Decortication of the lung?

This is a medical procedure, which involves the removing the surface layer of the membrane, or the fibrous cover of an organ. This procedure is usually done when the lung is covered with a thick inelastic pleural peel restricting lung expansion. The non-medical term /aspect is that decortication is the removal of the bark, husk or outer layer , or peel of an object, and this procedure is also done to treat chronic laryngitis.

Decortication procedure

During this procedure, the patient is put under general anaesthesia, and several incisions are made to access the chest cavity, depending on how severe the condition is the slits may be small . The surgeon studies the pleural membrane , to find the areas that have got fibrous and scarred and removes them.

As seen in the video, the white membrane is the scarred tissues, these tissues make it difficult for the person to breathe,and when handled piece by piece, at a time by a steel surgical tool which can be difficult when wrapped around the lung. The video depicts the decorticationof an empyema, tthe peel which may be thicker in severe cases with the disease of lung cancer.

The next step is to close the surgical opening and bring the patient out of anaesthesia. This is a major surgery, which is invasive and the patient needs to monitored for several days in the hospital to establish the healing.

If the mesothelium is thickened, it usually causes pain and discomfort, and if it is left to thicken, even more it can prevent the lungs from inflating to breathe, so these are one of the reasons that require decortication, and can also lead to other serious medical issues. Freeing the lungs , helps in shortness of breath which can be such a frightening experience.

After Surgery

If the tissue is cancerous, doctors will follow the surgery, with a course of chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, depending on the patient, this depends from patient to patient. Usually patients who have mesothelioma , and have undergone decortication recover,in about a month or six weeks, this is possible only if the cancer hasn't spread and the carcinogenic cells are under control. If in cases the cancer has spread then it is more difficult, and chemo or radiation will continue, even after surgery as long as doctor thinks that it is necessary.

Any major surgery does have their risks , such as a P&D.; In modern surgery the surgeon uses smaller incisions, and the surgery becomes less invasive than in the past, but with decortication, it is still a radical process in which a goo amount of tissue is brought out of the body.

Your stay in the hospital will depend on your condition, and for a few days after the surgery where the surgeon will keep you under observation, even after you return home their could be complications that may arise, as it is important to let your doctor know about any new developments. You can join a program at the hospital which will help you to breathe, exercises, and physical therapy which will lessen the risks of complications, while you stay in the hospital.

Recovery After Decortication of a Lung

While you are in the hospital , the surgeon is responsible for your recovery. For the first few days you will be kept in the hospital to monitor your conditionn, as to how long you are in the hospital and this will depend on how involved was your surgery, with the help of decortication used for lung cancer like mesothelioma where, you will take longer to recover from , than that of a decortication that is used totreatede pneumonia, whether or not the most important thing for you to do is to maintain your pain well.

Pain medication is the best way your would heal, as medications are administered to control the pain after surgery, and your nursing team would guide you as to when to take the medication,and the appropriate time. You don't have to worry about becoming addicted to the pain medication. The first two days after the surgery the nursing team will inject the pain medication directly, and help to control the pain, your nurse will explain how to work your set-up.

It will also help if you do some relaxation breathing,and visualization during this recovery period. This helps a lot if you are in pain and controls it. This technique is used so the patient finds something constructive to do and goes home faster. Most pain medications have some side effects, usually stomach complaints or sleep problems (too much or too little). The trade-off is certainly worth it, though.

After lung Decortication/Going Home

After you have completed the surgery of decortication, and you are well enough to go home, this will depend on many factors which are out of your control, but there are options to help you to recover.

It depends how well you cope with pain and how you respond after the thorasic surgery , will tell you how long you need to stay in the hospital, you will also learn how to handle yourself after you have had surgery, this will depend whether you can go home and how you will feel during recovery.

Your can recover, fast if begin with good preparation. Educate yourself on the process and procedures of decortication.

After-care for Decortication

Once the doctor give you the green signal to go home, the onus is on you to the road of recovery. Going home does not necessarily mean that you have recovered from the surgery 100%. You will still feel weak, and tender, and the doctor will give you the necessary pain medication that you need to take.

The doctor will prescribe a laxative, so that your system can recover gently. As the most common side affect is constipation. You can begin your daily activities once you return home , but try to avoid strenuous activities, which could put stress on your incisions. Keep the incisions sites clean, do not drive while you are still taking pain medications.

When you slowly resume to normal activity, and feel some breathlessness, after your decortication as there will be lingering pain for a while. The surgeon will advise you to take it easy and take precautions and do not over exert yourself as, it will only take longer to recover if you have any favourite sport or hobby that you do. You will need to slow down.