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Wedge Resection (Segmentectomy)


Updated June 18, 2014

What is a wedge resection:

A wedge resection is the surgical removal of a small portion of the lung along with healthy tissue that surrounds the lung.

Why is a wedge resection performed:

A wedge resection is performed to removal a lung tumor, or to diagnose lung cancer.

Who is a candidate for a resection:

A wedge resection is performed in early stage non-small cell lung cancer. Lung functions and general health is assessed by a battery of tests prior to the surgery. The type of tumor is also taken into consideration.

How is a wedge resection performed:

A thoractomy or VATS (video assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery) is performed and a wedge shaped section if the lung is removed. The incision is then closed, and a chest tube is inserted to allow the drainage of fluids that may buildup in the lung.


Risks of wedge resection surgery include reaction to general anesthesia, bleeding, infection, pneumonia, blood clots, and general difficulty breathing after surgery.


Recovery after a wedge resection is generally a week long hospital stay with respiratory therapy sessions. The chest tube is removed once the lung has fully exapanded. The patient is noramlly advised no heavy lifting for at least 8 weeks. Most patients return to work after 8 weeks. Recovery varies from patient to patient.
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