Surgeons do not have to break your ribs for lung surgery, although this may be required. Lung diseases vary in severity, and the necessary medical procedures depend significantly on the specific type of disease. Advanced forms of cancer could require malignant tumors to be removed after breaking the rib cage. Meanwhile, a surgeon could perform a less invasive biopsy while keeping the rib cage intact.
As always with health matters, it is best to speak with a medical professional to understand a suggested procedure and manage your expectations. If you or a loved one has lung cancer or could be suffering from a lung disease, you should seek guidance from a specialist.
Lung Surgery Techniques
There are many different types of surgery, and the type of lung surgery performed on a patient is specific to their condition and its severity. A small tumor in the lungs, for example, could require a different approach than a cancer that has metastasized to different regions of the body.
The American Cancer Society explains how lung surgeries can typically be classified into four categories:
- Wedge resection: This type of lung surgery is when a surgeon removes a wedge-shaped section of the lung. Typically, this procedure can result in a higher likelihood of cancer recurrence because such a small portion of the lung is removed. A surgeon may choose to perform a wedge resection if the removal of a larger section would be dangerous to a patient.
- Lobectomy: The lungs are composed of sections called lobes, and as the name implies, a lobectomy is when one lobe is removed. A lobectomy may be the most effective form of surgery if the cancer is isolated to one lobe. In otherwise healthy patients, the lungs can continue to function even after the removal of a lobe.
- Pneumonectomy: This form of lung surgery is more invasive than both wedge resection and lobectomy. Surgeons perform a pneumonectomy by removing the entire lung where the cancer is present. This can have dramatic effects on a patient after surgery, as it significantly reduces respiratory capacity. This surgery is therefore only performed in necessary cases when a lobectomy or wedge resection will not suffice.
- Sleeve resection: A sleeve resection is when a surgeon removes a cancerous portion of the windpipe and uses the remaining healthy tissues to create a new airway.
There are also less invasive types of surgery, such as a biopsy used to collect cell and tissue samples for testing. Understanding the different types of lung surgeries will help you better understand if a surgeon will have to break your ribs for surgery.
Lung surgery is a serious medical condition and is usually performed only when necessary, such as to remove cancerous tumors. There is a chance that a surgeon will have to break your ribs to access the lungs, depending on the invasiveness of the required procedure. Only a medical professional, such as a surgeon, can determine the exact course of action in a particular case.
Risk Factors for Lung Disease
Lung cancer and other advanced forms of lung disease usually require surgery. Several risk factors can lead to lung cancer:
- Exposure to secondhand smoke
- Radon gas
- Family history
- Asbestos exposure
The National Cancer Institute estimates that over 225,000 Americans will develop lung cancer in 2020 alone.
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If you or a loved one suffers from a lung disease, lung cancer, or exhibits symptoms of a possible illness, you should seek immediate medical attention. Only a medical professional can accurately assess your situation and offer guidance on the best course of action.
Depending on your condition, surgery may not be necessary. If you do have to undergo a procedure, your doctors do not necessarily have to break your ribs for lung surgery, but it is possible that this could be part of your procedure. Your doctor can explain any invasive procedure prior to undertaking it.
Living with lung cancer or lung disease can be very difficult. Your life can be turned upside down in many ways. During this trying time, it is important to remember that you have legal options if your condition was brought on by a third party. Exposure to a harmful substance like asbestos, for example, can lead to lung cancer.
You can call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 217-6099 if you would like to learn more about your legal options. A team member can discuss your case for free and help you determine the best course of action. Call today so you can focus on your health and well-being.