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Wedge Resection (Segmentectomy)

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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:

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

Recovery:

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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