Lung Disease Treatments

Northwestern Medicine puts a great emphasis on minimally invasive surgical techniques, which reduce the length of your hospital stay and offers the opportunity for a speedier recovery from lung surgery. Innovative surgical procedures like video-assisted thoracic surgery(VATS) and robotic surgery let our surgeons treat lung disease with precision and minimal physical trauma to the patient.

Lung surgery

Your thoracic surgeon may need to perform lung surgery to help treat lung disease, particularly lung cancer. Your physician will discuss the surgical procedures with you in detail. Some of the most common surgeries include:

  • Lobectomy: This is the removal of one lobe of the lung.
  • Segmentectomy: This procedure removes a larger portion of the lung than a wedge resection.
  • Wedge resection: This is the removal of a small, wedge-shaped portion of diseased lung tissue. This is often done if removal of an entire lobe would be too much for a patient.
  • Pneumonectomy: This procedure is the removal of an entire lung.
  • Sleeve lobectomy: Removal of one lobe and part of the bronchial tube with reimplantation of the remaining lobe on the remaining bronchial tube.
  • Blebectomy (bullectomy): This procedure is the removal of a nonfunctional part of your lung as treatment for pneumothorax (collapsed lung). The removal of a bleb (or bullae)—a type of bubble or cyst in your lung—will help your lung function better.
  • Pleurodesis: This is the artificial elimination of the pleural space between pleural layers, causing them to adhere to one another. This procedure is performed to help prevent the recurrence of pneumothorax or pleural effusion (fluid buildup between the pleural layers).
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