Lung Cancer Surgery & Surgical Oncology Procedures
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Surgery for Lung Cancer
Early-stage lung cancer is often treated with the surgical removal of part or all of the affected lung. However, many lung cancers are not detected until a tumor has spread within the chest. As a result, for many patients at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), lung cancer surgery may be used in combination with chemotherapy, radiation therapy and Interventional Pulmonology treatments, or it may not be used at all.
We also support you after lung surgery with supportive therapies. For example, nutrition therapy helps to stabilize your sugar levels and physical therapy helps to mitigate scar tissue and reduce pain.
Lung surgery, or thoracotomy, is a procedure where the surgeon opens up the chest cavity to gain access to the lungs. An incision is made in the side of the chest and the ribs are spread apart, so your surgeon can remove cancerous tissue from the lungs. There are four types of lung cancer surgery used at CTCA:
Wedge Resection and Segmentectomy
Removal of cancerous tissue from the lung. In cases where more tissue is removed, the thoracotomy procedure is called a segmentectomy.
Removal of an entire lobe from the lung. The right lung has three lobes and the left lung has two.
Removal of an entire lung.
Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)
VATS is a minimally invasive technology that our cancer doctors use to perform a lobectomy or wedge resection without opening up the chest. This thoracotomy procedure involves inserting a long, thin tube with an attached camera (thorascope) and small surgical instruments into the chest. Using images from the camera, the surgeon removes cancerous tissues. If you are a candidate for VATS, it offers a quicker recovery time and less pain than other types of lung surgery because no large incision or movement of the ribs is needed.
VATS may also be used to biopsy lung tissues and confirm a lung cancer diagnosis, called a thoracoscopy.
da Vinci® Surgical System
The da Vinci® Surgical System is a sophisticated robotic surgical platform that offers a minimally invasive alternative to complex surgery. Because it requires only a few tiny incisions and offers greater vision, precision and control for the surgeon, lung cancer patients often experience reduced pain, less blood loss, lower risk of infection, less scarring, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery.
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