Can You Live With One Lung? [A Must-Read Report]

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can you live with one lung

Lungs are essential organs in the body; However, some diseases can cause a person’s lungs to stop working or require surgery to remove one. You and your doctor may opt to remove one of your lungs due to cancer or other health issues. In most circumstances, one healthy lung should be able to provide adequate oxygen while also removing enough carbon dioxide to keep your body healthy. However, each person is unique. One must take specific considerations in each situation based on their lung function and any other difficulties. So can you live with one lung?

Continue reading the article to find out more.

Functions Of Lungs

When oxygen reaches the lungs, it gets carried through the body via the bloodstream. Oxygen converts to carbon dioxide at each cell in your body. The waste gas returns to the lungs, where it get removed from the bloodstream and discharged. Gas exchange is a natural process that your lungs and respiratory system do.

Your respiratory system does more than just exchange gases; some other functions are:

  • Coughing and swallowing to protect your body from hazardous chemicals.
  • Providing support for your sense of smell.
  • They are bringing air to a comfortable body temperature and hydrating it to the appropriate humidity level.

can you live with one lung

Can you live with one lung?

The lungs are vital organs in our body. Though having both lungs is ideal, it is possible to live without one lung.

A pneumonectomy is a medical term for removing a lung. With one lung, you may live an everyday life once you’ve recovered from the procedure. You’ll be able to carry out routine activities without difficulty. A person’s physical skills may be limited if they only have one lung. Even many athletes who lose one lung still be able to continue their sport.

Even so, your lung capacity will be half of what it was before. Your body will adjust in a variety of ways to this shift. For example, to fill the space left by the missing lung, the remaining lung will expand somewhat. The body will eventually learn to compensate for the shortage of oxygen. Most people anticipate to be constantly winded or unable to operate without one lung, but this is rarely the case. This shift will very certainly need a person to learn to slow down and adapt.

What is meant by Pneumonectomy?

A pneumonectomy is a surgery that involves removing one of your lungs due to cancer, trauma, or another ailment. A surgeon creates an incision on your body and separates the ribs by cutting some muscle. They remove the damaged lung surgically. The pleural space (the sac that held the lung) fills up with air. The fluid eventually takes the place of the air.

Reasons for Pneumonectomy

Lung cancer is the most common reason for a pneumonectomy. Typically, healthcare practitioners attempt to remove as little lung tissue as feasible. Other lung disorders may necessitate a pneumonectomy. Here are a few examples:

  • Lung illness that is present at birth
  • Bronchial obstruction
  • Lung damage caused by a traumatic event
  • Tuberculosis of the lungs
  • Infections of the lungs  by fungi
  • Metastases in the lungs

Post Surgery Recovery Period

After surgery, you’ll usually need to stay in the hospital for a week or two.  It is for your medical team to monitor your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure, as well as check for infection. When you first wake up, you can be puzzled. You may wake up a few hours or even a few days following the procedure. You’ll need someone to drive you home from the hospital and assist you around the house for the first several days. At first, take it slowly and avoid hard lifting. You’ll be warier, but your strength and stamina should return in the following weeks or months.

What can you expect after Lung Removal?

So to answer, can you live with one lung? Yes! Your life after lung removal will almost certainly not be the same as it was before. You may need to sleep more and move more slowly. You might discover that you can’t spend as much time in your garden as you used to. It’s possible that your approach to physical activity, including sexual intimacy, will need to change. It’s impossible to predict how long you’ll live after having your lungs removed because your age and overall health determine your life expectancy.

Dangers and risks

There are many different dangers or risky outcomes after Pneumonectomy; a few of them are:

  • Pneumonia
  • An excessive amount of bleeding.
  • Abnormal heartbeats
  • A clot may form in the lungs
  • Blood flow to the ears reduces.
  • Failure of the respiratory system

Your age, any other health issues you may have, and other factors will all play a role in determining your risk of complications.

How to keep your respiratory system healthy?

Instead of focusing on “Can, you live without one lung?” Focus on keeping your lungs healthy:

  • Stay hydrated by eating a nutritious diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • To maintain your lungs healthy, exercise regularly.
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Get a flu vaccine every year
  • Secondhand chemicals and radon are all examples of contaminants that can harm your lungs (a radioactive gas that can cause cancer). If you’re going to be around fumes, dust, or other pollutants, put on a mask.
  • Smoking is prohibited.

Bottom Line 

So can you live without one lung? The answer is yes. The removal of a lung should not seriously limit an otherwise healthy person. Because no two situations are identical, each person will have to understand their limitations in each one. Complications from lung disease or a history of smoking may make symptoms like being rapidly winded or having difficulty catching one’s breath more likely.

Working with a doctor to explore various therapies during the healing process is always a good idea, as these therapies may be rather expensive.

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