Lung resection is surgery to remove part or all of your lung. It is used to treat a damaged or diseased lung.
To do the surgery, the doctor makes a cut in your chest wall. This cut is called an incision. If the doctor can't spread your ribs enough to do the surgery, then he or she may also make a cut through a rib or your breastbone (sternum). After the doctor removes the diseased parts of your lung, he or she closes the incision with stitches or staples. If the breastbone was cut, the doctor uses wire to hold the pieces of bone together.
Most people spend 3 to 7 days in the hospital. After surgery, your chest will feel very sore. But you will get pain medicine to help with this. The medicine will allow you to breathe deeply and be as active as possible. Both of these things will help you heal more quickly. You will probably need to take at least 1 to 2 months off from work.
It's important not to smoke or allow others to smoke around you. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& David C. Stuesse, MD - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery
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