Surgery For Lung Cancer

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Ten to thirty five percent of lung cancer can be removed surgically although it does not necessarily result in a complete cure.  Surgery is a highly specialized procedure that requires skill and expertise from the surgical team. It is usually suggested for non-small cell lung carcinoma cases within stage one and possible stage two that have not spread outside the thorax or chest.  This is normally preceded by validating procedures such as Positron Emission Test (PET) and Computed Tomography scans.  These tests determine whether the cancer has remained localized making surgery a viable option.  Blood tests and a test for lung function called incentive spirometry may also be required to assess the capacity of the body to undergo the effects of surgery and anesthesia.  The success rate of surgery is very high with only a reported 4.4% of deaths all over the world.  To date, it remains one of the most preferred lung cancer treatment options unless contraindicated.  Listed below are the common lung cancer surgery procedures:

Mediastinoscopy – Samples of the lymph nodes along the main airway are taken in order to determine the extent to which the tumor has spread. This is a minimally invasive procedure.

Thoracoscopy – Like mediastinoscopy, this minimally invasive procedure uses the aid of a video that accesses the chest by way of small incisions to diagnose and treat lung cancer.

Wedge Resection – One small section of a lung is removed

Segmentectomy – A part of a lobe known as a segment is removed.

Lobectomy – The most common type of surgery where then whole lung lobe is removed.

Pneumonectomy – The whole lung is removed surgically.

The possible risks and side effects following surgery may include pain, weakness, episodes of shortness of breath and difficulty. Post-surgery complications may include bleeding, infection and anesthesia-related complications.