What Are the Types of Surgery for Lung Cancer?

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So it depends on the patient. The majority of patients will require something called the lobectomy where you take out a part of the lung on the right side, you have three lobes on the left side you have two lobes. And a lobe is basically a segment of the lung that a cancer seems to sit in there and that's the segment that when you remove it has the greatest chance of giving that patient a cure.

Now there are different ways you can do the lobectomy and make this big incision on their side it's called the thoracotomy you go in there and you take out the lope and as I explained before making a diagnosis there is a procedure called VATS. Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery. It's a minimally invasive technique, you make three small holes in the chest and you can remove lung cancers that way as well.

Patients go back to work quicker, they have less pain and their cure rate, recurrence rate e.t.c. it's just as good and if not, maybe even a little better than the thoracotomy way of doing these things. We've done numerous studies looking at it. So, we do have good evidence that shows that this is beneficial to patients.

You really need to have a doctor who is not just pushing the VATS, but looking at the patient from the cancer standpoint. Your goal is not to just get the cancer out with three small holes. You want that patient to be here 10 years later. So there are some patients where they are not ideal candidates for having the VATS because of the type of tumor, because there is a risk of spilling the tumor if they get that type of procedure based on the location.

So you need to tailor the procedure to each particular patient.