Does it hurt?


Actually, no, it does not hurt.  Seriously, in all of my post-transplant experience, I never had any pain that I could blame on the operation or the incision.

Which is not to say that I was not uncomfortable at various times.  What made me uncomfortable were things like one particularly obnoxious nurse that felt that she had to yell to get me up in the morning, or being woken up at 6AM to have my weight taken, or being mistreated by the infamous night shift at the sub-acute rehab center, or being made to have PFT's done a day after a bronchoscopy, or being woken up by a psychologist that felt I should know I was a prime candidate for post-transplant depression, or breaking a tooth on an Italian sandwich on a hard roll (my first civilian meal), or hospital food in the ICU, or endless Ensures, or depressing hygeine facilities at the rehab center, or any number of other incidental things.

But pain?  Not really.  Why?

Well, drugs would be one answer.  And aside from regular painkillers, I received a spinal tap about two days after surgery.  Not to mention that the gifted surgeons I had made a perfect incision.  Want to see it?  Probably not, but it's time:

The scar from a bilateral sequential double lung transplant (mine).
The scar, one week after removal of 60 staples (with Hickman Catheter).

I know, it makes you feel kind of hinky (that's Police talk).  I figured that after telling you how painless it was, you'd be ready for it.  Maybe I was wrong.  Frankly, if you're a guy and have any chest hair at all, in about a year you'll never even know it's there (Cyclosporin does that to you).  If you're a woman, then I don't really know what to tell you, except that it is not the same as having a mastectomy.  In fact, some men have been described as having what sort of look like breasts after the operation, so who knows?  It may even become an enhancement.  Um, maybe it would be a good idea to take a break here.