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What is an open lung biopsy (limited thoracotomy)?

ANSWER

Your doctor will usually only suggest this type of biopsy when other methods can't get cell samples.

As with a thoracoscopic lung biopsy, you won't be awake for this procedure. Your surgeon makes a larger cut than in other methods, which may run from your chest and under your arms to your back. That lets your doctor reach your lungs and remove the cells.

From: What to Expect From a Lung Biopsy WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Tests for Non-Small Lung Cancer."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Lung Cancer: Non-Small Cell: Diagnosis."

Blewitt, C.J. . 2001. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery

Canadian Cancer Society: "Thoracoscopy."

Columbia University Department of Surgery: "Bronchoscopy/Lung Biopsy."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Lung Biopsy," "Pleural Biopsy."

Lungevity Foundation: "Biopsies."

Medpage Today: "Lung Biopsy Risks Not Uncommon."

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Biopsy," "Bronchoscopy."

Medscape: "Transthoracic Needle Biopsy."

National Institutes of Health: "Lung Needle Biopsy."

National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "Bronchoscopy."

UpToDate: "Air Embolism."

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Lung Biopsy."

University of Southern California: "A Patient's Guide to Lung Surgery."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on October 16, 2017

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Tests for Non-Small Lung Cancer."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Lung Cancer: Non-Small Cell: Diagnosis."

Blewitt, C.J. . 2001. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery

Canadian Cancer Society: "Thoracoscopy."

Columbia University Department of Surgery: "Bronchoscopy/Lung Biopsy."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Lung Biopsy," "Pleural Biopsy."

Lungevity Foundation: "Biopsies."

Medpage Today: "Lung Biopsy Risks Not Uncommon."

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Biopsy," "Bronchoscopy."

Medscape: "Transthoracic Needle Biopsy."

National Institutes of Health: "Lung Needle Biopsy."

National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "Bronchoscopy."

UpToDate: "Air Embolism."

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Lung Biopsy."

University of Southern California: "A Patient's Guide to Lung Surgery."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on October 16, 2017

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What tests are done to help make sure a lung biopsy is safe for you?

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