(Removal of a Lung Lobe)
Reasons for Procedure
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- Anesthesia-related problems
- Collapsed lung
- Need for prolonged artificial respiration on a ventilator
- Damage to nearby organs or structures
- Chronic pain related to the surgery
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Your doctor may do the following:
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners
- Follow a special diet if instructed.
- Eat a light meal the night before. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- Take antibiotics or other medicines as directed.
- You may be asked to shower the night before the procedure with a special soap.
- Arrange to have someone drive you to and from the procedure. Arrange for help at home as you recover.
Description of Procedure
- Traditional thoracotomy—A large incision will be made. The ribs will be spread. The doctor will locate and remove the lung lobe.
- Video-assisted thoracic procedure—Several small incisions will be made between your ribs. A tiny camera and special tools will be inserted through the incisions. Your doctor will be able to see the inside of your chest on a nearby monitor. The lung lobe will be located and removed.
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Thoracotomy—about 1-2 weeks
- Video-assisted thoracic procedure—2-5 days
- You will likely be told to walk daily.
- Limit lifting during the first few days after your surgery.
- Follow directions to take care of your incision.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- You will be given medicine to help manage pain.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
- Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medicines you were given after surgery, or which last for more than two days after you leave the hospital
- Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
- Pain, burning, urgency or frequency of urination, or persistent blood in the urine
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Coughing up yellow, green, or bloody mucus
- Pain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
- Sudden chest pain
- Sudden shortness of breath
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Information for patients undergoing a thorascopic wedge/lobectomy. University of Michigan Department of Surgery website. Available at: http://thoracic.um-surgery.org/clinical/discharge%5Ffollowup/teaching/tscope%5Flobe.shtml. Accessed May 23, 2013.
Lobectomy. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test%5Fprocedures/pulmonary/lobectomy%5F92,P07749. Accessed May 23, 2013.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2013 -
- Update Date: 03/18/2013 -