Doctors can perform surgery to resolve problems associated with one or both of your lungs, or to examine them more closely. Lung problems are usually discovered while taking routine X-rays of your chest. Even though physicians have a number of tests at their disposal to help them diagnose conditions, surgery is often the most effective approach.
Below, we’ll describe the different types of lung surgery that doctors can perform. We’ll also explain the most common conditions they seek to treat.
Different Forms Of Lung Surgery
Major surgeries to treat diagnosed problems include wedge resections, lobectomies, and pneumonectomies. Each is performed to accomplish a specific goal, given the patient’s illness and overall health. A wedge resection is the removal of a small portion of one lobe. Another form of resection is called segmentectomy – the removal of a larger portion of a lobe. A lobectomy describes the removal of an entire lobe while a pneumonectomy is the complete removal of the lung.
Mass Found Within The Lung
The major surgeries above are normally performed in order to treat lung cancer. Once your doctor identifies a mass within one of the lobes, he or she will usually conduct a biopsy. This is a process through which a tissue sample is removed to determine whether the mass is cancerous. If the mass is benign, your doctor may decide surgery is unnecessary. On the other hand, if the mass is malignant, its location and size must be identified to determine which type of surgery is appropriate.
If the tumor is located in a small, isolated portion of tissue, a wedge resection will suffice. If the tumor affects one of the bronchioles, a segmentectomy may be more suitable. In the event the mass affects the bronchi, a lobectomy may be necessary. Your doctor may consider a pneumonectomy if the tumor has affected the bronchus.
A condition called pneumothorax can occur if the wall of your lung is punctured. This allows air to fill the pleural space, causing the lung to collapse. Doctors can surgically drain the air by inserting tubes into the pleural space. As the air is drained, the lung expands and surgeons can begin repairing the damage.
Infection Or Fluid
In the same way the pleural space in your lungs can fill with air (leading to pneumothorax), it can also fill with fluid. This can be due to infections or illnesses (for example, pneumonia). You might experience a shortness of breath, chest pain, or fever. While antibiotics can help control bacterial infections, they are ineffective for viral infections. Doctors can treat the problem by inserting tubes within the pleural space to drain the excess fluid. Then, they will typically allow infections to run their course and your lungs to heal.
Major lung surgery, when necessary, can often be performed through minimally invasive techniques that do not require opening your chest. Your physician will help you choose the right treatment path after taking your personal circumstances into account.