What are the surgical treatment options for lung cancer?

Surgery to remove tumors is the best option for treatment in the case of Non small cell lung cancer and is often done when the cancer is in the early stages and when its spread to the lymph nodes is limited.

There are several surgical treatment options for lung cancer but the most commonly used surgical treatments are listed below:

  • Video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)

During this surgery, a thin rigid time with a small video camera at the end is placed through a small cut that is made at the side of the chest. This helps the surgeon see what is inside the chest on a TV monitor.
One of two small cuts are made along the skin and and long instruments are passed through these cuts and the surgery is done with an open approach which is known as a thoracotomy.

  • Pneumonectomy

This surgery involves the removal of an entire lung. This is usually done if the tumor is close to the centre of the chest (Hilum).

  • Lobectomy

In this surgery the entire lobe of the Lung that contains the tumor is removed and this kind of a surgery is usually considered in the case of Non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

  • Segmentectomy

In this surgery only a part of the lobe is removed for instance it is only done if the person doesn’t have enough lung function to withstand the removal of the whole life.

  • Sleeve resection

A sleeve resection is a surgery that is done to remove a tumor in the brochous of the lung. After the removal of the tumor the ends of the bronchus are rejoined and any remaining lobes are reattached to the bronchus. This kind of a surgery is mainly conducted to save a part of the lung.

Read more on staging of non-small cell lung cancer.


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