Lung Cancer Surgery

Lung Cancer Surgery

Surgery is often recommended to patients who have been diagnosed with non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) while it is still confined to the lung, with our goal being a successful outcome using the most minimally invasive techniques possible.

Around 95% of all lung cancer surgeries at John Muir Health employ minimally invasive techniques.

For patients diagnosed with an early stage one lung cancer, surgery alone may eradicate the cancer. However, most lung cancers are diagnosed at a later stage and usually require radiation oncology and/or chemotherapy after surgery.

Pulmonary Function Test – Often performed before a surgery that will require the removal of part or an entire lung, this test assesses the risk of respiratory complications after the surgery is complete.

Thorascopic Lobotecomy – A minimally invasive video-assisted procedure in which a surgeon can remove the cancerous areas of a lung and any effected surrounding lymph nodes without having to cut open the chest or ribs.

Endoscopoic Laser Treatment – Often performed to make it easier for the patient to breathe, this minimally invasive technique uses a laser attached to a scope to incinerate a cancerous mass that is obstructing the airways. A bronchial stent is usually then inserted in the airways to support the patient’s breathing.

Robotic Surgery – John Muir Health is one of a few Bay Area medical institutions to offer this innovative minimally invasive surgical technique. While it is still an evolving technology for treating lung cancer, it gives the surgeons a high degree of precision and control and is used for certain procedures.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) – Another minimally invasive technique that passes radiofrequency waves through a probe in order to heat and destroy the tumor. It is usually used when there are several small lesions in the lungs and surgery is not an option. Lasers are sometimes used instead of radiofrequency waves.

ThoracotomyWhile the majority of the lung cancer surgeries at John Muir Health are minimally invasive, it sometimes is necessary to open the chest to remove the tumor, a lobe (lobectomy), or an entire lung (pneumonectomy).   

Learn how we treat lung cancer with radiation oncology