Lung surgery (thoracotomy)
Also known as:
Thoracotomy, Wedge resection, Segmentectomy, Lobectomy, Pneumonectomy
Surgery to remove all or part of a lung involves making a cut on one side of your chest (thorax) during a procedure called a thoracotomy. Surgery that uses this approach avoids areas in the chest that contain the heart and the spinal cord.
After the cut is made between the ribs, all or part of the lung is removed depending on the location, size, and type of lung cancer that is present.
The types of lung surgery are:
- Wedge resection (segmentectomy). The surgeon removes a small wedge-shaped piece of lung that contains the lung cancer and a margin of healthy tissue around the cancer. This is likely to be done when your lung function would be decreased too much by removing a lobe of lung (lobectomy). The risk of lung cancer coming back (recurring) is higher with this method.
- Lobectomy. The right lung has three lobes and the left lung has two lobes. A lobectomy removes the entire lobe of your lung that contains the cancer. Your lungs can function with the lobes that remain.
- Pneumonectomy. A pneumonectomy removes your entire lung that contains the lung cancer. A pneumonectomy is done only when needed, because it will greatly reduce your overall lung function.
Providence Thoracic Surgery Program provides specialized surgical treatment for disorders of the chest organs, particularly the lungs and esophagus.