NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Lung Cancer Screening - page 28

28
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Lung Cancer Screening
Version 1.2014
Part 5: Testing for lung cancer
Surgery methods
Surgery may be done with one of two methods. The
classic method is thoracotomy. VATS (
v
ideo-
a
ssisted
t
horacic
s
urgery) is a newer method. VATS is often
preferred for a small nodule, but a thoracotomy is
sometimes preferred because of nodule size, nodule
location, or other reasons.
Before either surgery, you will be asked to stop eating,
drinking, and taking some medicines for a short period
of time. If you smoke, it is important to stop to get the
best results possible. General anesthesia is used for
both surgeries.
With thoracotomy, a cut is made in the side of the chest
passing under the armpit and shoulder blade. The cut
is made between the ribs and through the chest wall.
The ribs are spread apart with retractors to allow the
surgeon to work. Sometimes, a part of the rib is removed.
During surgery, the lung with the nodule is deflated and a
breathing tube is used to help you breathe with the other
lung. After surgery the cut is sewn closed, but tubes are
left in for a few days to drain fluid and air. The surgery
can take 2 to 3 hours. You may stay in the hospital for a
few days to recover.
With VATS, 3 to 4 small cuts are made between the ribs
on the side of the chest. A camera and surgical tools
are inserted through the cuts. Video from the camera is
shown on a computer so that the surgeon can see your
organs. Tissue is removed through the small cuts rather
than a large opening in the chest wall. During surgery,
the lung with the nodule is deflated and a breathing tube
is used to help you breathe with the other lung. After
surgery the cuts are sewn closed, but tubes are left in for
a few days to drain fluid and air. The surgery can take
2 to 3 hours. You may stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days
to recover.
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