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Alternative namesThoracotomy; Lung tissue removal; Pneumonectomy; Lobectomy; Lung biopsy; Thoracoscopy
DefinitionLung surgery is any surgical procedure that allows the surgeon to directly affect the lungs. Examples include removal of a section of lung because of a tumor or an infection, biopsy of the lung to obtain a diagnosis, and lung transplantation.
While the patient is under general anesthesia, an incision is made between the ribs to expose the lung. The chest cavity will be examined and diseased lung tissue will be removed.
This examination may be performed directly (thoracotomy) or with the aid of a camera (thoracoscopy). A chest tube is inserted to drain air, fluid, and blood out of the chest cavity, and then the ribs and skin are closed.
IndicationsLung surgery may be recommended for the following reasons:
RisksRisks for any anesthesia include the following:
Expectations after surgeryThe outcome depends on the type and severity of the problem, but many patients recover nicely.
Hospital stay is usually 7 to 10 days. Deep breathing is important to help prevent pneumonia and infection and to re-expand the lung. The chest tube remains in place until the lung has fully expanded.
Pain is managed with medication. The patient usually recovers fully by 1 to 3 months after the operation.
Update Date: 4/13/2004John A. Daller, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT