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
- 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
- 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.