Skip to content

    Lung Cancer Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Lung Cancer - Surgery

    Lung surgery to remove the cancer may be an option when your cancer is in only one lung or present in one lung and in nearby lymph nodes. It usually is done only if your doctor thinks all the cancer can be removed and your general health is good enough for you to handle the surgery.

    Nearby lymph nodes may also be removed to find out whether the cancer has spread.

    Surgery choices

    The type of surgery performed depends on the location and size of your lung cancer:

    • Wedge resection. The surgeon removes a small wedge-shaped piece of lung that contains the lung cancer and a margin of healthy tissue around the cancer.
    • Lobectomy (say "low-BEK-tuh-mee"). 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 (say "new-muh-NEK-tuh-mee"). A pneumonectomy removes your entire lung that contains the lung cancer.
    • Sleeve resection. The surgeon removes part of the bronchus camera.gif, the hollow tube at the end of the trachea (windpipe) that spreads into each lung like a tree.

    The side effects from surgery will depend on the type of surgery that you have. There is less pain with surgery that is minimally invasive (VATS) than the traditional surgery (thoracotomy). You may have numbness and tingling in the chest area. This usually goes away in a few weeks or months.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Xray analysis
    Do you know the myths from the facts?
    chest x-ray
    Get to know them.
     
    woman taking pills
    Tips to managing them.
    Lung cancer xray
    See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
     
    Lung Cancer Risks Myths and Facts
    SLIDESHOW
    Woman getting ct scan
    Article
     
    Improving Lung Cancer Survival Targeted Therapy
    VIDEO
    cancer fighting foods
    Article
     
    Lung Cancer Surprising Differences Between Sexes
    VIDEO
    Pets Improve Your Health
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Vitamin D
    SLIDESHOW
    Lung Cancer Surgery Options
    VIDEO