DOS and DON’TS before Pulmonary Nodule Surgery

    1、 State of mind

    As we all know, a good mental state is beneficial to rehabilitation. Maintaining a good sleep schedule and have a good rest before surgery is important.

    2、 Medical history and preoperative examination

    After hospitalization, doctors will come to inquire about your medical history and physical information, and then arrange some medical examinations. Patients and their family members should communicate with the doctors and fully describe about their disease. In particular, if you have a history of surgery, other diseases, or any medications that you are taking, please give a detailed description for a reference of the surgery. Please inform your doctor about the tests you have done, take the reports to your doctor if you have any, then the doctor will order the tests you need. In general, preoperative examinations include: hematuria and stool examination, electrocardiogram, pulmonary function, echocardiography, treadmill exercise, chest CT, skull magnetic resonance, tracheoscope, bone scan, etc., which will be arranged according to your condition. Some tests are quick and some are slow, so please be patient, your doctor will arrange these in the best possible way for you.

    3、 Quit smoking

    This is difficult for many people, but it has to be done. Strictly speaking, you have to quit smoking at least two weeks before you can have surgery. For patients who do not quit smoking, the risk of postoperative pulmonary complications are 3-5 times higher than for those who do. Many patients do not pay attention to this, but serious postoperative lung infection and suffocation are fatal, this cannot be emphasized enough. This requires patients’ own efforts and the patient’s family’s cooperation.

    4、 Lung function exercise

    Preoperative assessment of lung functionality is important for the selection of the type of surgery. Objectively speaking, the better the lung functionality before surgery is, the better the ability of recovery and lower the risks of surgery. Therefore, for all patients, it is recommended to perform routine preoperative lung function exercise such as deep breathing, stair-climbing, balloon-blowing, etc.

    5、 Cough & Expectoration.

    Many patients do not want to cough after operation due to different reasons. Coughing is the method and expectoration is the purpose. This is the difficulty of postoperative management of our thoracic surgeons. If the patient does not expectorate, then the sputum will be infected in the lung, and medicine does not help either. Therefore, it is crucial to learn to cough and expectorate.

    6、 Nutritional requirements

    There are no special requirements for preoperative nutrition, but an emphasis on high protein food could prove beneficial. If the patient’s nutritional status has been very poor, it should be supplemented before operation.

    7、 Other diseases

    Patients with other diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, anemia, etc., should be treated appropriately or be stable before surgery.

    8、 Potential blood transfusion

    For local patients in Shanghai who are 60 years old or younger, the doctor will advise for the patient or family members to go to the local blood station according to their registered permanent residence. Payment of a deposit for blood preparation will be required there.

    9、 Preoperative consultation.

    Patients tend avoid it, because consultations often are aboutmany complications and risks. Some patients could become anxious after listening, which affects their mood. But it varies from patient to patient; some patients want to know the details of the surgery. The surgical methods of lung surgery are generally divided into open and endoscopic or robotic surgery, each of which has its own indications. Doctors will decide with the patients together to choose a right surgical approach. In general, for some small pulmonary nodules and early tumors, thoracoscopy or robotic surgery will be performed. 


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