Each lung is made up of 2 or 3 sections called lobes. A lobectomy is the surgical removal of one of these sections from the lung.
A lobectomy is used to treat a variety of lung conditions, such as
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If you are planning to have a lobectomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications. These may include:
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
General anesthesia will be given. You will be asleep. A tube will be placed in your windpipe to help you breathe.
A lobectomy may be done in one of two ways:
If you are having a lobectomy to remove cancer, the doctor will also remove lymph glands in your chest. The glands will be tested for any sign of cancer.
After completing the procedure, your doctor will place tubes in your chest. They will help drain the chest cavity. The incision(s) will be closed with stitches or staples.
You will be taken to a recovery room. You will be given fluids and medicines through an IV.
The procedure takes about 1-4 hours.
You may feel some pain as the anesthesia wears off, but pain can be managed with medicines.
You will be asked to cough and walk often. You may be given an incentive spirometer. This is a breathing exercise device that will encourage you to take deep breaths.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions, which may include:
After you leave the hospital, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Call for medical help or go to the emergency room right away if any of the following occurs:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute
Information for patients undergoing a thorascopic wedge/lobectomy. University of Michigan Department of Surgery website. Available at: http://thoracic.um-surgery.org/clinical/discharge_followup/teaching/tscope_lobe.shtml. Accessed May 23, 2013.
Lobectomy. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/pulmonary/lobectomy_92,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.
Last reviewed May 2013 by Marcin Chwistek, MD; Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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