Lung Cancer Surgery
Lung cancer is still one of the common diseases affecting our society. There has been a decrease in smoking and gradually less smoking related lung cancer but unfortunately an increase in non-smoking related lung cancers. This condition presents late by which time it has spread outside the lung. For this stage of disease radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the main forms of treatment. If picked up earlier when confined to within the lung then surgery offers the best chance of cure. Most cases are discussed in the Multidisciplinary Lung Clinic with the stage of disease assessed, from which treatment options will be planned and discussed with each individual patient.
Surgery is performed as a minimal access procedure through a 6-8 cm incision just under the shoulder blade. The section of the lung containing the tumour is removed along with all the draining lymph nodes, which are examined microscopically to look for any spread of disease that would indicate the need for post operative radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Occasionally the whole lung may need to be removed to clear all disease, but this is uncommon and usually identified before surgery.
Post operative stay is around 4-8 days. Long term follow up will be organised and any further treatments planned.