Overview of Lung Resection
Lung resection is an operation that removes a portion of the lung and is a cornerstone of the treatment of lung cancer. Other conditions that may require lung or pulmonary resection include spontaneous pneumothorax, infections, and lung biopsy.
Traditional surgery for lung disease requires an incision between the ribs over the affected portion of the lung. Depending on the condition, a small (segment) or large (lobe) portion of the lung is removed. Lung cancer typically requires lobectomy (removing a lobe of lung), whereas lung biopsy and pneumothorax may only need segementectomy (removal of a smaller wedge-shaped segment).
Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is a less invasive approach utilizing small incisions or "ports." A video camera is placed inside the chest and thin instruments are inserted through the ports for surgical manipulation. Biopsies and even complete lobectomies can be performed with the VATS approach. This allows the patient to recover more quickly with less discomfort.
Where is Lung Resection Performed?
Lung resection is performed in the cardiovascular operating room (also called the CV OR) by a cardiothoracic surgeon and the OR team. Immediately after surgery, patients recover in the Thoracic Intensive Care Unit, a 24-bed unit directly adjacent to the cardiovascular operating room.
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