PD MD Wolfgang Harringer
The lungs are vital organs of human body carrying out a function of respiration, or supplying the body with oxygen. Hereupon, any serious disorder of the lungs can become life threatening. Though the most of lung diseases can be treated with conservative methods, there are some conditions when you may need surgery. As a rule, lung surgery is performed by thoracic surgeons but sometimes other specialists also involved.
Among the lung problems there are a few that can be indication having lung surgery, as:
Lung surgery can be diagnostic to confirm the diagnosis or take a probe for biopsy or curing to remove diseased segment of the lung.
Based on extent of lung surgery it is possible to divide lung operations as following:
Depending on method used to perform the surgery you can distinct the following types:
When you are recommended to have removal of a part or entire lung you may feel uncomfortable or confused and that can be the reason to have additional consultation with some other specialists. In Clinic of Braunschweig many specialists as general physicians, bronchial diseases specialists, thoracic and general surgeons, radiologists and oncologists take part in examination and making decision whether you are a candidate for lung removal. We advise surgical removal only when it is absolutely necessary.
Before operation you will have routine examination as:
You should not smoke a few weeks before the surgery and may be advised to stop using certain kinds of medications increasing the risks of bleeding, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E and some others. You also will have a consultation with your anesthesiologist prior to surgery. Starting from midnight before your surgery you should not eat and drink.
The procedure is done under general anesthesia. Open chest surgery can take from 2 to 6 hours depending on complexity and type of surgery.
First, a surgeon makes a long incision on the side where your diseased lung is. The ribs can be removed for better view. Then, the lung is collapsed and all the blood vessels as well the bronchus are clamped. After that, it is possible to remove the lung through the incision.
Then, the surgeon checks all the cut vessels and tubes to avoid blood leaking and drainage is inserted. Finishing the procedure the surgeon closes the chest and carefully sews a wound.
The mortality rate after pneumonectomy is two times higher than after lobectomy, or partial removal of the lung. It significantly differs for various diagnoses, so it is difficult to determine exact rate for 30-days survival. In case with cancer of lung, it can differ depending on disease stage. Immediate survival rate is as high as 96-98% for the left lung and 88-90% for the right lung.
Among the factors increasing the risk of surgery are:
Possible complications of lung surgery are: