Cancer Surgery

Lung Cancer continues to be one of the five most common cancers. Typically, surgery for lung is recommended when the cancer is at an early stage. When planning to undertake surgery for lung cancer the surgeon has to determine the complete removal of the tumor and the patient’s ability to tolerate the anticipated decrease in lung volume. To help make the decision a number of investigations are undertaken.

Staging of lung cancer: Staging of cancer helps physicians determine the spread of the cancer and accordingly tailor the treatment regime. Common tests undertaken for this include a CT scan, PET scan and biopsy of the tumor and if required biopsy of the lymph nodes. Once the information has been collected the patients is discussed in a multidisciplinary meeting of specialists involved in cancer care. Working as a team to determine the best treatment option for the individual patient.

Assessment for surgery: Once a decision to operate has been made, the surgeon reviews the patient to discuss the procedure and also determine the patient’s physical ability to tolerate the procedure. To help in making the decision an assessment of lung function undertaken. The test performed is known as the lung function test and in borderline cases further tests can help a more accurate assessment of lung function.

Surgery: The common procedures for lung surgery include removal of a lobe of the lung (Lobectomy), removal of part of a lobe (Wedge resection) and removal of a whole lung (pneumonectomy).

Minimally invasive surgery (VATS) Recent years have seen the exponential rise in surgery being done with assistance from camera and minimal exposure resulting in less pain, speedier recovery and restricted morbidity. Nowadays, most lung surgery can be undertaken via this approach.
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