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TheSurgeon, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 274
Experience:  General Surgery
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How can a person live with one lung?

Customer Question

How long can a person live with one lung?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  TheSurgeon replied 6 years ago.
TheSurgeon :

can you tell me what the lung was removed for?

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Expert:  TheSurgeon replied 6 years ago.
I would need to know the results of your pre- and post- operative pulmonary function tests, specifically total lung volume and forced expiratory volume
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

My breathing tests have been about 65% and the pulmonary Doc told me that she was pleased with the oxygenation and something else in the last test. I don't know total lung volume and expiratory volume, but I'm doing pretty well....aerobics, some tennis, walking, working etc.

Expert:  TheSurgeon replied 6 years ago.
That all sounds great, if you can still exercise that's really good news. If you had cancer, the odds of recurrence are more worrisome than actually dying from the lack of a lung. Did you have lung cancer? If so, what stage were you?
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am haing a bit of difficulty navigating this site, but it looks like a good thing. Yes, stage 2B adenomal carcinoma non small cell. Could you please answer here rather than directing me back to the site for additional charges of $35. each time. Thanks.
Expert:  TheSurgeon replied 6 years ago.
sorry, this site can be tough to navigate, i didn't know it was sending you back. with stage 2b there is still a pretty good 5-10 year survival with radiation treatment. The fact that you are able to exercise is good news. Just keep up the activity and see your pulmonary doc and therapist as scheduled.
Expert:  TheSurgeon replied 6 years ago.
I noticed you accidentally paid $35 twice. You can contact the justanswer website and ask for a refund on the second payment, I don't know why it did that.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks.....I guess what you're saying is that the lung issue is secondary to the issue ot thepossibility of the cancer recurring. I definitely undertand that. I just wish that there was some data on living with one lung. But, I am getting to think that it just doesn't exist and that one lung, if it does the job, is just fine! Good luck! I just saw your message regarding the two charges, thanks!
Expert:  TheSurgeon replied 6 years ago.
As long as you are oxygenating your body on one lung, it's hard to say just how "bad" the surgery will affect you. If you were having breathing difficulties or couldn't exercise, that would be a different issue and I think your life expectancy might be limited from the one lung. Just promise me you will never smoke!!!!! That would certainly shorten your lifespan due to having only one lung.
Expert:  TheSurgeon replied 6 years ago.
I just did a very quick literature search, and essentially if you survived the surgery after the first 2-3 months, life expectancy depends on the stage of the cancer, not the lung removal itself.