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Lung Resection

Your surgeons may be taking out a piece of your lung for various reasons, usually for suspicious lung nodules or lung cancer. At times, they may get a piece of the lung to help your other doctors determine what is wrong with your lungs if you are having shortness of breath. There are basically three types of lung resection.

  1. Wedge resection – a piece of the lung is removed
  2. Lobectomy – an entire lobe of the lung is removed
  3. Pneumonectomy – the entire lung is removed.

"Wedge" Resection

Wedge Resection





Our surgeons often perform these procedures through minimally invasive techniques using small holes in your chest. These can be done through using video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery or robotic surgery. Your doctor will explain to you if you are a candidate for “keyhole” surgery or need traditional open surgery.

After Lung Resection

Patients having lung resection typically stay in the hospital 2-5 days. They have a small tube draining fluid and air from their side. When the tube is removed (usually 2-3 days after surgery), the patient can expect to go home. They usually have a PCA for pain which is transitioned to oral pain medications when the tube is removed. Patients start with a clear liquid diet and are advanced to a regular diet if they tolerate clear liquids. Patients are encouraged to be out of bed and walk as much as possible.