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Pulmonary surgery

Pulmonary Surgery

 Pulmonary surgery is performed to repair or remove diseased lung tissue. Thoracic pulmonary surgery always requires an extended hospital after-care, the duration of the stay depending on the maintained lung function, the overall health before surgery and the type of surgery performed.

The most common types of pulmonary surgery are:

  • Biopsy – removes unknown growth for further pathologic testing
  • Lung transplant
  • Pneumonectomy – removes a part of the lung
  • Pleurodesis – pulmonary surgery to prevent fluid buildup in the chest
  • Empyema – surgery to treat infection or remove blood from the chest
  • Pneumothorax – surgery to remove blebs causing lung collapse
  • Lobectomy – removes one or more entire lobes of the lung
  • Wedge resection – removes part of a lobe

Pulmonary Surgery – Conditions Treated


Thoracic pulmonary surgery is often chosen as a life-saving retreat for patients with end-stage lung disease. Thoracic pulmonary surgery refers to operations performed in the thorax to treat some of the following conditions:

  • Lung cancer
  • Emphysema
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Thymus tumors
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Schwannomas
  • Mediastinal tumors
  • Collapsed lung
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Pulmonary embolism – When doctors opt for surgery pulmonary embolism is typically a life-threatening condition, in which some fat, amniotic fluid, tumor or blood clot blocks the blood flow of an artery in the lung. The surgical removal of a pulmonary block is called embolectomy. The surgery pulmonary embolism is tackled with is a relative rarely performed procedure, which is only considered for patient with no other treatment option.

Pulmonary Surgery – Techniques

In pulmonary surgery treating the above mentioned conditions the thoracic surgeon has two options when it comes to making the incision and opening up the chest wall:

  1. Traditional thoracotomy
  2. VATS (video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery)

Thoracotomy Pulmonary Surgery:

  • A surgical cut is made between the ribs and from the front of the chest to the back, depending on the necessity of space.
  • Chest tubes are placed to drain out blood and fluids.
  • Finally, the ribs are closed, muscles and skin is sutured.
  • The whole lung surgery can take up to 6 hours.

Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery:

  • Several small surgical cuts are made and a videoscope and other small tubes containing the instruments are passed through them into the chest.
  • This technique implies less trauma, blood loss and shorter recovery time.