Lung surgery is surgery done to repair or remove lung tissue. There are many common lung surgeries, including:
A thoracotomy is a surgical cut that a surgeon makes to open the chest wall.
You will have general anesthesia before surgery. You will be asleep and unable to feel pain. Two common ways to do surgery on your lungs are thoracotomy and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS).
Lung surgery using a thoracotomy is called open surgery. In this surgery:
Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery:
Thoracotomy or video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery may be done to:
Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery can be used to treat many of these conditions. In some cases, video surgery may not be possible, and the surgeon may have to switch to an open surgery.
Risks of this surgery include:
You will have several visits with your health care provider and undergo medical tests before your surgery. Your health care provider will:
If you are a smoker, you should stop smoking several weeks before your surgery. Ask your doctor or nurse for help.
Always tell your doctor or nurse:
During the week before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
Most people stay in the hospital for 5 to 7 days for open thoracotomy. Hospital stay for a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery is most often 1 to 3 days. You may spend time in the intensive care unit (ICU) after either surgery.
During your hospital stay, you will:
The outcome depends on:
Thoracotomy; Lung tissue removal; Pneumonectomy; Lobectomy; Lung biopsy; Thoracoscopy; Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery; VATS
Putnam JB Jr. Lung, chest wall, pleura, and mediastinum. In: Townsend CM Jr., Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 58.
Tsiouris A, Horst HM, Paone G, Hodari A, Eichenhorn M, Rubinfeld I. Preoperative risk stratification for thoracic surgery using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program data set: Functional status predicts morbidity and mortality. J Surg Res. 2012: epub ahead of print.
Wiener-Kronish JP, Shepherd KE, Bapoje SR, Albert RK. Preoperative evaluation. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus C, Martin T, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier;2010:chap 26.
Updated by: Norman S. Kato, MD, Surgeon with the Cardiac Care Medical Group, Encino, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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