A pneumonectomy is the removal of one of the lungs. Lung cancer is the most common reason for a pneumonectomy. Other reasons for a pneumonectomy include:

  • Traumatic lung injury
  • Pulmonary tuberculosis
  • Fungal infections of the lung
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Congenital lung disease
  • Bronchial blockage with a destroyed lung
  • Pulmonary metastases
  • This surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. You will be placed on your side on the operating table with your arm above your head.
  • The surgeon will make a cut between two ribs and spread the ribs.
  • The surgeon will deflate the affected lung and remove it.
  • The surgeon may remove some nearby lymph nodes. These may help show how advanced a cancer might be.
  • Your surgeon will close the ribs, the muscles, and skin. A dressing will be applied over the incision. Most of the time, a chest tube is left in the pleural space from where the lung was removed. This is removed when your condition improves.

Some possible complications are:

  • Respiratory failure
  • Blood clot in the lung
  • Pneumonia
  • Shock
  • Too much bleeding
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Reduced blood flow to the heart
  • After a few days of observation, you will be discharged and given instructions regarding medication and lifestyle changes.
  • A follow-up appointment will be required to remove the stitches.
  • Avoid doing any heavy lifting for several weeks.
  • Follow all the instructions given by the doctor regarding medication, exercise, diet and wound care.
  • Call the hospital if you have any signs of infection, fever, swelling or pain.
Enquiry Icon