Pneumonectomy . Operation to remove an entire lung. In a pneumonectomy, one or more lobes are removed from a lung .


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  • 1 Bypass
  • 2 Types of Pneumonectomy
  • 3 Risks
  • 4 Procedure
  • 5 Post-operative monitoring
  • 6 Sources


Pneumonectomy or Pneumectomy is a compound word that is derived from the Greek Pneumon (Πνεύμων): lung and Ektomia: surgical removal. It is used in medicine to name the surgical removal of a whole lung.

Types of Pneumonectomy

Pneumonectomy is surgery that opens the wall of your chest . A pneumonectomy is done if you have a lung abscess (infection), lung cancer , or emphysematous bubbles. A bubble is lung tissue that stretches into a balloon. These bubbles put pressure on the rest of the lung making it difficult to breathe. Pneumonectomy is the surgical removal of a lung, usually as a treatment for cancer. It can be done in two ways:

  1. Traditional pneumonectomy: Only the diseased lung is removed.
  2. Extrapleural pneumonectomy: The diseased lung is removed, along with a part of the membrane that covers the heart (pericardium), part of the diaphragm,and the membrane that covers the thoracic cavity ( parietal pleura ) on the same side of the chest.

Pneumonectomy substantially reduces the respiratory exchange surface, displaces the mediastinum to the operated side, and unbalances the spine by changing the size of one of the hemithoraxes .


There are always risks when having surgery.

  1. Bleeding more than usual.
  2. Get an infection.
  3. Having trouble breathing.
  4. Clots blood, staying in the lungs resulting in pulmonary embolism.
  5. Pneumonia.
  6. Wound infection.
  7. Fluid accumulation in the lungs, causing pulmonary edema.
  8. Kidney failure(in the kidneys).
  9. Lack of air. It is a long-term risk is: some people may need oxygen , which can be administered at home, for many months or even years after surgery .


They will put an intravenous (VI) line into one of the veins in your arm to give you fluids and medicine, and will also put you under general anesthesia . An incision will be made in your chest, on the side of your diseased lung.

In a traditional pneumonectomy, the surgeon sinks the diseased lung and clamps its main blood vessels. The surgeon then clamps the main bronchi (air tube) of the lung, cuts it as close to the windpipe (breathing tube) as possible, and removes the lung .

The cut end of the bronchi is closed with staples or closed with sutures (stitches). After confirming that the closed end of the bronchi does not lose air, the surgeon closes the incision in the chest with sutures, leaving a temporary drain in the pleural space, the space between the two membranes that surround the lung.

If you have an extrapleural pneumonectomy, the surgeon will not only remove the diseased lung, but also carefully remove the pleura from the wall of your chest. Parts of your pericardium and diaphragm will be cut from the affected side and replaced with Gore-Tex patches , a safe synthetic material.

Post-operative follow-up

After surgery, you will be taken to the surgical intensive care unit (ICU). For the first 24 hours, your breathing will be assisted with a respirator and you will still have the drainage tube from your chest.

Once his condition is considered stable, usually within a few days, he will leave the surgical ICU and be transferred to a normal hospital room. Most patients who have had a traditional pneumonectomy will be able to go home seven to 10 days after surgery. Hospitalization for an extrapleural pneumonectomy may take an additional day or two.

Currently, many centers offer a less invasive surgery called video-assisted thoracoscopy (TVA) for certain candidates. With TVA you can reduce hospitalization time.

Before you are discharged from the hospital , the surgeon will tell you when to schedule your first follow-up visit. As you gradually resume normal daily activities, your healthy lung will slowly compensate for the loss of your partner.

Recovery is usually slow for most people. Even six months after surgery , many pneumonectomy patients find that their ability to exercise is limited due to shortness of breath .


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