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Lung Cancer - Preparing for surgery

Your surgeon will perform a comprehensive medical work-up including physical examination, lung function test, blood tests and scans to see if you are suitable for surgery and advise you on the risks involved. This treatment recommendation is often based on consensus by a group of different specialists' opinions (tumour board) which weighs the pros and cons of every treatment strategy.

Before surgery, the anaesthesia team will also assess your fitness for surgery and advise you on various aspects of general anaesthesia and pain control after surgery. As with all surgical procedures, complications can occur during and/or after surgery. Some of these risks and complications are inherent in any operative procedure, especially when general anaesthesia is administered. You should ask your doctors about these risks.

You should stop smoking as soon as possible, ideally at least two weeks before surgery in order to minimise your risk of developing complications after surgery. You should also inform your doctor if you are on any blood thinning medication or traditional medication, as these need to be stopped prior to surgery to minimise risk of bleeding after surgery. Finally, you should try to walk at least an hour a day prior to surgery, as you will be required to walk after surgery to improve your recovery.

Specialist nurses will also provide pre-surgery counselling.

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