About Lung Surgery

What is lung surgery like?

From a surgeonís perspective, lung surgery involves careful dissection, gently separating tissues so that parts of the lung such as lobes or segments can be safely isolated and removed. The key to safe lung surgery is having a detailed knowledge of anatomy and handling tissues with great care, especially the lung artery branches. Like heart surgery, lung operations require patience, judgment, and careful attention to detail.













From a patientís point of view, lung operations usually require an incision between your ribs, which is a tender area. The use of smaller incisions and surgical telescopes has helped, but even with these advances and modern techniques for reducing postoperative pain, there are still a few days of early recovery that are uncomfortable for many patients.

Interestingly, the best way to get better is to go ahead and breathe deeply and be active despite any pain. The thing to remember is that pain isnít usually a sign of things going wrong. It is just a natural process that happens with surgery. It will get steadily better!

Lung surgery, especially surgery for lung cancer, is usually one part of a bigger picture of care for your lung condition. You and your family can† take an active part in many aspects of your care. The more you know and the more you participate, the better you will do.

The navigation tab called ďHelpful ReferencesĒ has links to well written web pages you can use to find useful and reliable information regarding specific lung surgery conditions.

Central plains cardiothoracic surgery LLC

Photo by Paul Mutton

segmentation of lung fissures


Image: department of computer science

Boston University

Paul N. Uhlig,† MD, MPA, FACS

All original content on this site is © 2011 by Paul N. Uhlig, MD and may be used with appropriate attribution.