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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Wedge resection

We perform wedge resection to treat lung cancer, particularly non-small cell lung cancer.

This form of treatment involves removing the cancerous cells in the lung, as well as removing a margin of surrounding healthy tissue.

Wedge resection may be an alternative option to a lobectomy (removing the entire lung). Factors to consider when choosing the appropriate treatment include the severity of the disease and the overall health of the remaining lungs. For example, a wedge resection may be performed if a lobectomy would cause a significant decrease in lung function.

The procedure

Depending on the location of the tumor and other factors, we can perform a wedge resection by minimally invasive video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) or by a thoracotomy (open chest surgery).

During the procedure, the surgeon first removes the affected portion of lung through an incision(s) in the chest. Then, the incision is closed and a chest tube is inserted to drain out any fluid post-operation. The chest tube is usually removed after the lung has expanded.

Recovery typically takes a week. The patient is closely monitored after treatment by his/her care team to address any issues that arise after treatment.

A wedge resection is often performed in conjunction with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

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