What Is a Lobectomy?

What Is a Lobectomy?Take a deep breath. Now let it out. Breathing is simple, it’s something we do thousands of time a day, each day, but there’s a lot that goes into it. We need our lungs to work properly in order to survive, but sometimes something goes wrong, whether it be a tumor, tuberculosis, or another disease. In these cases, a lobectomy is required to treat a patient when a problem is found in a part of the lungs.

Lobectomy—the basics

A lobectomy is a surgery that removes one of the lobes of the lungs. Your lungs have five lobes in total, three in the right lung and two in the left. If a problem is found in part of the lung (say, a tumor), then the lobe in which that problem is found is removed. In the above illustration, for instance, the top lobe of the right lung is removed. The actual procedure will either require a few, small incisions (minimally invasive), or one longer incision (thoracotomy), depending on your diagnosis.

Who requires a lobectomy?

A lobectomy is performed when there is a problem found in one part of the lung in order to prevent it from spreading. Thus, the following lung conditions can be treated with a lobectomy:

  • Lung cancer
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lung abscess
  • Emphysema
  • Benign tumor
  • Fungal infection

What are the risks?

While lobectomies are generally safe, as with any medical procedure, there are risks, namely in the form of bleeding or infections. However, antibiotics are typically taken to reduce these risks, and the likelihood of them appearing are low. In the majority of cases, patients are back to their normal lives within a month.

To learn more about the human body and all of its intricacies, stay tuned for the latest updates from my blog!