When would I need to opt for a lung surgery?

You may be diagnosed with a lung disease, and depending on the type of lung disease you contract, your doctor would suggest you whether you should go for a lung surgery. A lung surgery is often performed under conditions such as when a lung has been diagnosed with a mass-like structure, or if you suffer from a collapsed lung or if there’s presence of fluid around the lung. For cases of lung cancer, surgeries may be performed to treat non small cell lung cancer. You may be required to take other modes of cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy or a combination of both, in case the cancer is found in close proximity to your heart, food pipe, wind pipe or any major blood vessel.

Here are some of the lung conditions for which you require lung surgery:

Lung mass

If you have been diagnosed with a lung mass, a sample will be taken from the lung, which will be examined to determine whether the growth of the mass is non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). In addition to that, the size and location of the mass is also measured and the surrounding areas checked to find out if the mass has spread. In case the mass needs to be removed, the size, location and spread of the mass are used to determine how much of the surrounding area should also be removed. Removing a part or the entire lung is known as lung resection.

Collapsed lung

Air may leak inside the pleural space of the lung if an area of the lung is found thin or if it gets ruptured. A lung may get collapsed if air collects inside the pleural space. Such a condition is known as pneumothorax or a collapsed lung. During a lung surgery, tubes are placed in the lung that facilitates draining of air from the pleural space and helps the lung to re-expand. The walls of the lung may also be treated during a surgery so that it doesn’t collapse again.

Presence of fluid around the lungs

Your lung may be diagnosed with presence of fluids surrounding it. Fluid around the lungs is usually caused by lungs infection, which may be a result of an illness such as pneumonia or post-surgery effects after certain types of surgeries. A surgery is performed by placing tubes that drains away the fluids from the pleural space and facilitates quick recovery of the lungs.

Lung volume reduction surgery

Under this procedure, small wedges of the damaged tissue of your lungs will be removed if you are diagnosed with chronic bronchitis.

Removing lymph nodes

During a surgery, some of the lymph nodes may be removed by your surgeon from around the lungs. This is done since there might be presence of cancer cells in the lymph nodes that might have broken out from the main cancer cells. The lymph nodes are sent for laboratory tests. If the nodes indicate presence of cancer cells, this might affect the treatments that would be required after a surgery.

Keyhole surgery

Keyhole surgeries are performed to remove tiny, early cells of lungs cancer. These types of surgeries are also known as Video Assisted thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS).

If you are suffering from any other health issues such as a severe heart disease or any other lungs disease, you are probably not fit enough to go through any major lung surgery. Your surgeon would examine you and may take a number of tests before deciding whether you require any surgery and of what kind. For further queries about lungs disease, chronic bronchitis, lungs cancer or any other related issues; you may consult with your doctor.

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