July 27, 2017

Wedge Resection

A wedge resection is a type of surgery used primarily to either diagnose a disease or treat cancers that have spread to the lung. This surgery is performed to remove small sections of diseased lung.

Why is a wedge resection performed?

A wedge resection is done to remove a small portion of diseased lung, a small tumor, or a portion of lung cancer. The surgery is done if the disease has been caught early, and a part is removed to prevent further spreading of the cancer or disease.

How is it performed?

There are several methods used to remove small portions of lung.

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) wedge resection

“VATS” stands for video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. In a VATS procedure, a lobectomy is performed through a few small incisions using special instruments and a camera. During the procedure the surgeon will use the camera attached to a thoracoscope to visualize the inside of the chest through a monitor. Using specialized tools, the surgeon and his team are able to operate inside the chest through several small cuts, or ports. VATS lobectomy is a minimally invasive procedure and involves removing a portion of the lung.

This minimally invasive procedure has its advantages over traditional surgery:

  • shorter hospital stay
  • quicker recovery and return to activity
  • decreased pain after surgery

This is usually the first surgical technique to be considered for a lung wedge resection, however other traditional procedures will also be considered after evaluation of your lung condition.

Open (Thoracotomy) wedge resection

In an open lung resection, a thoracotomy is performed to allow the surgeon to have open access to the chest (thoracic) cavity. The cut (or incision) is about 10-15cm that extends the patient’s side from over the ribs, under the arm, and up the back.

  • This surgery can be recommended for:
  • Mediastinal tumors (within the chest)
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Suspicion of lung cancer
  • Identifying lung masses (benign or malignant)
  • Sarcoidosis (inflammation of the lungs)
  • Severe pneumonia
  • Clearing blockages found in the airway

Goals of a wedge resection:

  • Prevent further spreading of disease
  • Remove dangerous or malignant masses
  • Improve quality of life
  • Preserve the remaining lung by removing diseased portions
  • Relieve current symptoms