​Back at Home

During your hospital stay, we will help you to prepare for going home.

How will I feel at home?

Your healing and recovery will not happen overnight. Each person recovers at his or her own pace. Recovery time depends on a number of things such as age, general health and mental attitude. Your family doctor can help you to manage your symptoms as needed. Here are some of the symptoms to watch for:

  • Your appetite should return to normal within a few weeks.
  • Your appetite will increase as you are able to be more active. If your appetite is poor, try smaller, more frequent meals.
  • Make sure you drink fluids (minimum of 6 cups per day unless your doctor or dietician tells you otherwise).
  • Constipation is common when you take pain medicine.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (a minimum of 6 cups per day unless your doctor or dietitian tells you otherwise).
  • If you have no other diet requirements or special needs, add bran, high fibre breads and cereals, berries, dried fruit or prune juice to your diet.
  • You will be prescribed a stool softener while on the pain medicine. You may also use a mild laxative if you need one.
  •  Your normal routine should return once you stop taking the pain medicine. If you have any problems see your family doctor.
  • As you become more active you may have more discomfort. We will order pain medicine for you when you go home.
  • It is important to take pain medicine as needed. This will help you to recover. Your family doctor can help you to manage side effects of the pain medicine if you have them.
  • During your hospital stay, your medicines may change. You can review these with your nurse, surgeon or pharmacist before leaving the hospital. Prescriptions will be given to you before you leave the hospital. See your family doctor if you have further questions.
  • You may feel tired and discouraged for several days or weeks after the operation. As you recover and regain your strength, this should improve. If not, please see your family doctor.
  • The incisions will not need to be covered unless your clothes are rubbing on them.
  • Do not put lotions or creams on the incisions until they are completely healed. Most of the pain should be gone by 6 to 8 weeks after your surgery.
  • There may be a "bump" along the incisions. It will decrease in size over 4 to 6 weeks.
  • The area around your incisions may feel numb. This numbness is normal. It may last for several months, or forever. The numbness may be worse on cold, damp days. It usually improves with time.
  • You can shower every day once you get home. Use a mild soap. Let the water run over the incisions. Pat the incisions dry with a towel.
  • You will be off work for at least 4 to 6 weeks. Depending on your job, you may need to be off for 8 to 12 weeks.
  • Check with your surgeon when it is safe for you to return to work.
  • You should not drive until you are off the pain medicine. The pain medicine you are taking may make you drowsy.
  • You must have full movement of your arm and shoulder before you drive. This is usually 2 to 3 weeks after surgery.
  • No heavy lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling for 4 to 6 weeks. This includes no vacuuming, carrying heavy groceries, shovelling snow, etc.
  • You may lift up to 4.5 kg (10 pounds). Lifting more than this may stress your incision.
  • Your surgeon will tell you when you can begin regular activities.
  • You may have sex again after your surgery. Avoid positions that cause strain on your incision.
  • You may gradually increase your activity. Walk at least once every day as you can tolerate it.
  • You may swim after 6 to 8 weeks.
  • You can golf after 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Jogging, tennis, aerobics, and racquetball should not be done for 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Please talk to your surgeon about skydiving and scuba diving. Scuba diving is not recommended after some lung surgery.
  • Please check with your surgeon about travelling.
  • We usually recommend that you do not travel by air for 2 to 3 weeks.

Your surgeon will send a letter to your family doctor about your operation. Your family doctor will provide ongoing medical care once you leave the hospital. You should see your family doctor for any problems or questions about your medicines, prescriptions, pain management, sleeping problems, appetite or constipation.

When should I call my surgeon?

Contact your surgeon for any of the following:

  • New redness or swelling around your incision(s)
  • Any drainage or pus from your incision(s)
  • Increase in pain at your incision(s)
  • Fever (higher than 37.5°C or 98.6°F)
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weight loss or continuing poor appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing out mucous that is yellow or green in colour, or has a bad smell
  • Coughing up fresh red blood
  • Anything else that concerns you about your recovery.


Dr. M. Cypel
Phone: 416 340 5156

Dr. G. Darling
Phone: 416 340 3121

Dr. M. De Perrot
Phone: 416 340 5549

Dr. S. Keshavjee
Phone: 416 340 4010

Dr. A. Pierre
Phone: 416 340 5354

Dr. T. Waddell
Phone: 416 340 3432

Dr. K. Yasufuku
Phone: 416 340 4290

Dr. L. Donahoe

Phone: 416 340 4800 ext. 6529

Dr. J. Yeung

Phone: 416 340 4800 ext. 6529