Thoracotomy - what can I expect?

I have a local recurrence in two lymphnodes.
One is hiding in the internal mammary lymphnodes and the op is planned for 2nd Dec’13. It’s a thoracotomy - removal of the enlarged lymph node (2.5x4cm) and a clearance of the others they can find in that area.

Who has had a thoracotomy?
What can I expect when I get out of theatre? What can I / can’t I do? How does the recovery differ from a soft tissue op?
After the axillary lymphnode clearance I have a risk of lymphodaema in the arm. Is there an equivalent for the internal lymphnodes?

Original primary was dx May’11, TNBC, no BRCA, after chemo, lumpectomy and full axillary node clearance in Dec’11. Then radiotherapy, but not exactly in those areas where it recurred.

Thanks for any info!

Hi Regine, this is the first I had heard of thoracotomy, so sorry I can’t give you any advice. I just stopped by to wish you good luck for your op tomorrow, and a speedy recovery. 

Gentle hugs:)x