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What causes fever and cough after having lung lobectomy?

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Posted on Wed, 20 May 2015
Question: Post op 3mos from lung lobectomy from cancer. Two days ago developed fever of 101 with horrible cough that produced white frothy phlegm , that is now a thicker yellow phlegm. Temp has dropped to 96 and feel like a XXXXXXX truck ran over me. Does this sound like pneumonia or another type of infection from my surgery?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rovena Murati (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
unlikely to be related to surgery.

Detailed Answer:
Hello.

Welcome to Healthcare Magic.

I read carefully your query .

Three months post-operation is a long time for it to be related to any infection from surgery.If it was an infection acquired during surgery,the symptoms would have appeared few days after.
Most likely it might be acute bronchitis or pneumonia.
I would suggest to consult your treating physician and get examined.Physical examination and a chest X-ray is important to determine if you have pneumonia.

Hope it helps.
Let me know if you have any other question or need any clarification.I would be happy to answer.

Kind regards,
Dr.Rovena Murati
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Rovena Murati (1 hour later)
I failed to mention that a follow up CT scan done 2 weeks ago showed pleural effusion with a small collapse at base of lung. Could this be causing current symptoms? Coughing, SOB and wheezing are worse when laying down or bending over. Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rovena Murati (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
you need to see your treating doctor.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

Pleural effusion are very common after lobectomy.This happens as a normal part of the healing process after part of the lung is removed.
Usually it may take several months for the effusion to dry up.During this time you may have a slight cough ,clearing mucus and phlegm ,wheezing .

Having a cough with yellow sputum ,fever,shortness of breath ,wheezing are not part of normal process of healing.
These symptoms indicate and underlying infection of the lungs.
You need to consult your treating doctor for evaluation.It is very important to exclude Pneumonia ,as the cause of these symptoms.

Hope it helps.
Please feel free to ask if you have any other question or need any clarification.

I wish you a quick and complete recovery.

Take care.
Dr.Rovena
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Rovena Murati (10 days later)
I have been tested positive for human pneumonovirus 2 weeks ago. I am 58 yrs old and am 3 mos post op lung lobectomy for lung cancer. How long am I am going to feel so weak with coughing with low grade fever? I was doing well recovering from the thoracotomy, but am now feeling better for a while and then wham it knocks me down. How long can I expect this to continue? Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rovena Murati (14 hours later)
Brief Answer:
detailed below.

Detailed Answer:
Hello again.

This virus usually causes a mild respiratory tract infection with cough,low grade fewer that clears on it's own for 10-15 days.
In patients with underlying pulmonary conditions or with a weakened immune system the symptoms can be much worse with cough ,wheezing,fever,muscle aches,fatigue and the recovery takes more time.

There is no specific treatment for this infection.The treatment consist in managing the symptoms like the cough,wheezing etc.
It may take several weeks for complete recovery and some symptoms like feeling weak and tired may last more.

Hope it helps.
Take care.

Dr.Rovena

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Rovena Murati

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2013

Answered : 1243 Questions

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What causes fever and cough after having lung lobectomy?

Brief Answer: unlikely to be related to surgery. Detailed Answer: Hello. Welcome to Healthcare Magic. I read carefully your query . Three months post-operation is a long time for it to be related to any infection from surgery.If it was an infection acquired during surgery,the symptoms would have appeared few days after. Most likely it might be acute bronchitis or pneumonia. I would suggest to consult your treating physician and get examined.Physical examination and a chest X-ray is important to determine if you have pneumonia. Hope it helps. Let me know if you have any other question or need any clarification.I would be happy to answer. Kind regards, Dr.Rovena Murati