Update is that I went home the day of, so I’m going to call VATS an outpatient procedure
Chest tube was unproductive so home I went. In the context of the tube removal, by the way, when medical people say “on the count of 3 I’m going to . . .” Be afraid. Very afraid. Worst thing I felt the whole time. But over in a second, so all good.
And this was despite nearly passing out on my first walk around the floor! Diagnosed after the fact as vasovagal syncope due to orthostatic hypotension or dehydration, surgical stress, or just who knows? I felt bad for the poor pulmonary therapist. We walked about 15 yards and I was like “Umm, I’m feeling a bit dizzy.” Then “I’m going to go down pretty soon.” (I’ve had similar episodes before; had one on the first chemo takedown.) We were in the middle of a huge, HARD, hallway with zero, well, zero anything, really. She started intensely measuring me up to see whether she could support a passed-out 6’2” guy (through my “glassy eyed state” I judged a firm “nope” to that one). Fortunately, some employees were sitting around having a lively chat in a little cluster of those office chairs with wheels and one of them saw the action and slid it over in seconds. Things started getting better after I sat down, and better yet when I got back to bed, but heart rate and blood pressure were impressively low for a bit. My room was suddenly filled with tons of people all talking at once and looking at my vitals, and the #2 doc on my surgeon’s team appeared out of nowhere as well. Always good to provide entertainment, of course.
After that, things went more according to plan. Even walked up a full floor of the parking garage on the way out. Now sore but not too bad. So far no Oxy, just Tylenol, though they gave me IV narcotics at first in the hospital. Plus they gave me a nerve block; single shot, turned down the catheter.
One thing I noticed. Several people on here said it’s great to have a recliner for the recovery. I was like: “I don’t really see the need for that, it’s just a couple of small incisions . . ..” Well, last night at about 3:30 a.m. I figured that one out. I did devise a decent gymnastic move where I raise myself from a supine position using only my right hand, but by the time I got to a seated position I forgot why I was sitting up in the first place and just wanted to lie back down again. Awesome.