Thoracic Oncology

Surgical procedures

Surgical lung biopsy is a procedure performed to remove tissue or cells for examination under a microscope. This is usually carried out to determine if disease or cancer is present in the lungs. The majority of the time this is performed via a minimally invasive approach.

Wedge resection is the removal of a small, wedge-shaped part of the lung from one or more of the 5 lobes in the lung. This is sent to the laboratory to be examined under microscope and can be carried out via a VATS or RATS technique.

Segmentectomy is also the removal of lung tissue from one or more lobes in the lung. This surgery removes a larger specimen that a wedge resection.

Metastasectomy is the surgical removal of mestastases, which are secondary cancerous growths that have spread from another area of the body. The primary tumour must be controlled and surgery may be in conjunction with other treatments such as chemotherapy & radiotherapy.

Lobectomy is surgery in which one lobe of the lung is removed. The surgery can be done via Thoracotomy (open), VATS or RATS. This is the most common operation performed for curative surgery for primary lung cancer.

Pneumonectomy is the surgical removal of a whole lung. It is occasionally required in order to fully remove lung cancer.

Pleurodesis is a procedure for management of abnormal fluid build up in the lung. Normally, the lung is covered in a thin film of tissue, as is the inner lining of the rib cage and chest wall, and these two films are close together. However, sometimes air, fluid or both gets between these layers, separating them and limiting the ability of the lung to expand during breathing. When excess fluid develops between these layers, this is called pleural effusion. Pleurodesis is a technique to make these two layers stick together.

Indwelling pleural catheters are increasingly being used for patients with recurrent malignant pleural effusions. They are simple to place and uniformly relieve shortness of breath and improve quality of life of patients with malignant pleural effusions.

Chest wall resection is extensive surgery which involves removal of ribs, excision of the tumour and full reconstruction. The extent of the surgery & reconstruction depends on whether the tumour is cancerous or benign and if it originated in the chest wall.

Thoracic Surgery Ireland