What surgeries are used to treat non-small cell lung cancer?

Surgery for non-small cell lung cancer aims to remove diseased tissue, as well as a portion of the surrounding healthy tissue, to keep lung cancer from returning. Different surgeries may be used. A lobectomy removes an entire lobe of one lung. A wedge resection removes a smaller part of lung tissue, including the tumor and some of the surrounding healthy tissue. A segmental resection removes a larger part of the lung than the wedge resection, but stops short of removing a whole lobe. If you must have an entire lung surgically removed, the procedure is known as a pneumonectomy.

Brian D. Mott, MD
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular)

The resection of lung for cancer ranges from a simple wedge resection, to a segment of a lobe, to an entire lobe and finally the entire lung itself. The amount removed is determined by how much cancer there is and how much lung you can tolerate having removed.

The two major approaches to the lung is either a rib spreading thoracotomy incision or minimally invasive VATS surgery. The VATS approach is usually for early stage lung cancer and is associated with less post-operative complications.

Continue Learning about Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and Pneumonitis
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and Pneumonitis
Pneumonitis is a clinical term that refers to inflammation of the lungs. More specifically, it refers to inflammation of the air sacs (also called alv...
Read More
What is non-small cell lung cancer?
Dr. Vincent T DeVita JrDr. Vincent T DeVita Jr
About 85% to 90% of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). About 10% to 15% are small ...
More Answers
How do other illnesses affect non-small cell cancer?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Most illnesses do not affect non-small cell cancer, but treatments and the cancer itself can put you...
More Answers
Differences Between Small Cell and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Differences Between Small Cell and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.