Expert Video - What factors determine the extent of lung cancer surgery?

The extent of lung cancer surgery depends on multiple factors. First, it depends on the location of the cancer and if it can be removed with a simpler kind of surgery or if it requires a more complicated surgery. Second, it depends on the amount of normal lung that the patient would lose as part of the surgery and their existing lung function. If their lung function is already weak, then it’s possible that the amount of surgery a patient can tolerate will be much less and that will impact the choice of surgical procedure as well. Lung cancer patients may be seen by a lung specialist called a pulmonologist, who can evaluate what their lung capacity is by conducting some tests. Surgery can range from limited surgery called wedge resections (also called a segmentectomy), to bigger surgeries, where a lobe of the lung is removed (called a lobectomy) and in some cases an entire lung needs to be removed (called a pneumonectomy).

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