Discharge advice following a thoracoscopy
This page gives you information about the care you will need following a thoracoscopy.
The medications used for sedation can remain in the body for at least 24 hours, gradually wearing off.
It is therefore very important that a capable adult is available to take you home and stay with you for the next 24 hours.
It is also important that for the next 24 hours you follow the advice below:
- You should not drive or ride a bicycle as your reflexes and judgement will be impaired.
- Sedation can make you unsteady on your feet. Please be careful on stairs and have someone with you if you feel unsteady.
- Your judgement may be affected so do not make any important decisions or sign any legal documents.
- Be careful if using social media.
- You should not return to work, look after dependents, cook or operate machinery.
- You should not drink any alcohol or take sleeping tablets.
When can I eat and drink?
- You can eat and drink normally after the procedure.
- You can take your usual prescription medications when they are next due.
- It is advisable to discuss any concerns you may have about your medication with the nursing staff during discharge.
After the procedure
- The site where the incision was made may be sore for a few days after a thoracoscopy. You may experience some discomfort/ache after the procedure that should settle with simple pain relief such as paracetamol. If the pain is unmanageable or not responding to the pain relief you should contact the consultant’s secretary on the number at the bottom of this page.
- You will have stitches at the site of the incision that will need to be removed after 10 to 14 days. You should arrange for this to be done at your GP’s surgery.
- The incision site will be covered with a dressing; this must be kept clean and dry while the stitches are in place. You can use a hand held shower but avoid getting the dressing wet.
When to seek advice
If you develop any of the following, please contact the relevant number below:
- Severe pain in your chest.
- Shortness of breath.
- Swelling around the wound site.
- Bleeding or fluid leaking from the wound site.
- A high temperature.
Dr Steer’s secretary
Tel: 0300 422 6564
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Dr Bintcliffe’s secretary
Tel: 0300 422 4346
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Between 6:00pm and 8:00am you should contact:
Gloucestershire Hospitals Switchboard
Tel: 0300 422 2222
When prompted ask for the operator then ask to be put through to the Respiratory Consultant on call. Please tell the switchboard operator that you have had a thoracoscopy and it is recommended and important that you speak to the consultant.
If you think you require immediate medical attention, please phone 999 or go to your nearest Accident & Emergency Department.
What happens next?
A follow up appointment will be arranged by your consultant. You may already have this or you will receive the appointment details in the post.
Results from the test and a management plan will be sent to your GP within the next 2 weeks.
To help the Endoscopy Department understand what is important to you and how we can improve our service, we would appreciate if you would take the time to complete a feedback survey.
All responses will be anonymous and any information provided will be used sensitively and stored securely.
To access the survey, please click the link below:
Alternatively, if you would prefer to scan a QR code, this is available within the PDF document at the bottom of this page.