Q:

Can a surgeon remove lung nodules?

A:

Quick Answer

A surgeon can remove pulmonary nodules through one of two possible surgical techniques: thoracotomy and video-assisted thoracoscopy, as stated by Cleveland Clinic. The surgical removal of pulmonary nodules is only necessary if the nodule is malignant and has not resulted in the spread of cancer. If the nodule is benign, then it is recommended to leave it and not remove it surgically.

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Can a surgeon remove lung nodules?
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Full Answer

If a biopsy is performed and it is determined that the nodule is malignant, or if it cannot be determined whether or not the nodule is malignant, the nodule should be surgically removed.

A thoracotomy is performed if the nodule is malignant, the cancer has not spread and the patient is healthy and fit. During this open-lung surgery, the surgeon cuts into the wall of the lung to surgically remove the cancerous tissue. Although the recovery time typically requires several days in the hospital following the procedure, the overall mortality rate is low.

A thoracoscopy is performed if the nodule is malignant, the cancer has not spread, the patient is healthy and fit and the patient's situation requires a smaller incision and shorter recovery time. It is performed with a thorascope that utilizes a tiny camera on the end of a flexible tube, allowing for a smaller cut in the wall of the lung.

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