NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer - page 44

44
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Version 1.2014
Part 6: Overview of cancer treatments
With thoracotomy, a large cut is made from the front
of the chest to the back 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 tumor is deflated and a breathing tube is inserted
down the throat to assist the other lung. After surgery
the cut is sewn closed, but chest tubes are left in place
for a few days to drain fluid and air. The surgery can take
between 2 and 6 hours to complete. You may stay in the
hospital for a few days to recover.
With VATS, three or four small cuts are made between
the ribs on the side of the chest. A small camera and
surgical tools are inserted through the cuts. Video from
the camera is shown on a screen so that the surgeon
can clearly see your organs. Tissue is removed through
the small cuts rather than a large opening as done for
thoracotomy. During surgery, the lung with the tumor is
deflated and a breathing tube is inserted down the throat
to assist the other lung. After surgery, the cuts are sewn
closed, but chest tubes are left in place for a few days to
drain fluid and air. The surgery can take between 2 and
3 hours to complete. You may stay in the hospital for a
few days to recover.
Lung surgery types
As shown in Figure 6, how much lung tissue is removed
during surgery can differ. Some surgeries for lung cancer
remove only part of rather than the whole lung. Names
of common lung surgeries are:
• Wedge resection – Removal of a small part
of a lobe,
• Segmentectomy – Removal of a large part of
a lobe,
• Lobectomy – Removal of an entire lobe,
• Sleeve lobectomy – Removal of an entire lobe and
part of the bronchus, and
• Pneumonectomy – Removal of the entire lung
Figure 6. Lung tumor surgeries
Illustration Copyright © 2013 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.
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