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Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy

Lung Cancer Patients

I have a lung nodule that needs to be removed through a procedure called pulmonary lobectomy. What is the operation like?

The lungs are comprised of lobes. The right lung has a superior lobe, middle lobe and inferior lobe. The left lung has a superior and inferior lobe. If a cancer or lesion is within a lobe of the lung, removal of the involved lobe is indicated.

Under general anesthesia with the patient deep asleep and pain free, an incision is made between the ribs to expose the lung. The chest cavity is examined and diseased lung tissue is removed. A drainage tube (chest tube) is inserted to drain air, fluid, and blood out of the chest cavity and the ribs and skin are closed.

How long will I stay in the hospital?

The hospital stay for this procedure is usually 7 to 10 days. Deep breathing is important to help prevent pneumonia, infection and re-expansion of the lung. The chest tube remains in place until the lung has fully re-expanded. Pain is managed with medications.

What will my recovery be like?

The patient recovers fully in 1 to 3 months after this procedure.