If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, the best way to treat the disease may be through surgical removal of the affected tissue. There are four general types of surgery that doctors will consider. They are as follows:
- Pneumonectomy. This procedure is used in serious cases, as the entire lung is removed from the patient.
- Lobectomy. While this surgery does not remove the whole lung, it does remove one entire lobe. It is important to note that both lungs are not exactly the same. On the left lung, you'll find two lobes. On the right, there are three.
- Segmentectomy. When doctors cannot use a lobectomy, they may choose a segmentectomy to get rid of some cancerous tissue from a specific segment of the lung. For instance, your right upper lobe has three different segments. Removal of one could leave the lung and lobe largely intact, while still eliminating the cancer.
- Wedge resection. Finally, doctors may choose this procedure when they want to cut out specific tissue without doing a full removal of a lung, lobe or segment. They often do a wedge resection when treating or diagnosing metastasis.
No matter which type of surgery doctors decide to perform, this is a very significant procedure. It comes with extensive recovery times and high medical bills. It can change the rest of your life -- especially in cases where the entire lung gets removed. It may be a necessary procedure, but that does not mean it is an easy path to take.
If your lung cancer was caused by contaminants in the workplace, such as asbestos, make sure you know all of your legal options.