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Lung Cancer

Lung cancer



My mother is having non small cell lung cancer on Wednesday. She has a single tumor the size of a pea.

Her Dr. stated she can have a wedge resection or a lobectomy. She is 73 years old, smoked until 10 years ago and has the beginning stages of Emphysema.

The Dr. said she should decide unless something changes when she is operated on.

What would you recommend and, what type of recovery is aveage for a peson following this surgery?


In general, a lobectomy is the standard surgery for lung cancer.  A wedge resection just removes the tumor with a small amount of surrounding lung; whereas, a lobectomy is a more complete resection.  A wedge resection may increase the chances of the cancer coming back.  However, it is appropriate to only do a wedge resection if your mom's lung function isn't good enough for a lobectomy.

As far as recovery, it takes up to 3 months to completely recover from a lobectomy.  Most patients are in the hospital for 3-5 days.

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Response by:

Sandra L Starnes, MD Sandra L Starnes, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati