The lungs are comprised of lobes. The right lung has a superior lobe, middle lobe and inferior lobe. The left lung has a superior and inferior lobe.
If a cancer or lesion is within a lobe of the lung, removal of the involved lobe is indicated. Under general anesthesia with the patient deep asleep and pain free, an incision is made between the ribs to expose the lung. The chest cavity is examined and diseased lung tissue is removed. A drainage tube (chest tube) is inserted to drain air, fluid, and blood out of the chest cavity and the ribs and skin are closed.
Hospital stay is usually 7 to 10 days. Deep breathing is important to help prevent pneumonia, infection, and re-expand the lung. The chest tube remains in place until the lung has fully re-expanded. Pain is managed with medications. The patient recovers fully in 1 to 3 months after the operation.
Reviewed By: Mary C. Mancini, MD, PhD, Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Christus Highland Medical Center, Shreveport, LA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.