Surgery in Lung Cancer


What is Lobectomy?

A lobectomy is a surgical operation to remove one of the lobes of the lungs. Parts of the lungs are called lobes. The right lung has three lobes. The left lung has two lobes. When a problem is found in just a part of a lung, a lobectomy may be performed. This removes the infected lobe, and the remaining healthy lung tissue will function as normal. A lobectomy is most commonly performed during a Surgery called thoracotomy. The chest is opened during that type of Surgery. The cut is most commonly made under the nipple on the front of the arm, and wraps under the shoulder blade around the back. To extract the lobe, the surgeon obtains access to the chest cavity through the exposed ribs.

In certain cases, a lobectomy is performed using a Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). This procedure is less invasive. Three or four small cuts are used, instead of one large cut. Tiny instruments are placed into the cavity of the chest. One of the instruments is known as a thoracoscope. It is a tube has a light and a tiny camera, which sends images to a computer screen. Through the other cuts, the small tools are inserted to perform the Surgery.

How is Lobectomy performed?

A lobectomy usually needs an inpatient stay. The way the procedure is performed may vary. It depends on your condition and your surgeon’s methods. In most cases, the procedure will follow this process:

You will be given general anaesthesia that lets you sleep through the procedure. A cut shall be made on the front of your chest. The cut goes round to your back under your arm. When the ribs are visible, a special tool will be used to spread them apart. The surgeons will remove the lung lobe. The cut is then closed with either stitches or staples. Your doctors may put a thin tube (epidural catheter) in the lower spine area. This is done to send Pain medicine to the back.

What are the side effects of Lobectomy?

  • Infection
  • Air in the space between the lung covering
  • Bleeding
  • A tube-like opening between the airway and pleural space
  • An area of pus in the chest cavity
  • Fluid in the space between the lung and inner chest wall