Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

A lobectomy is a common treatment option for patients with lung cancer, especially when the cancer is contained to one part of the lung. Lungs are made up of a total of five sections called lobes, with two in the left lung and three in the right lung. During a lobectomy, a surgeon removes one of the lobes. After the procedure, many patients find that their lungs work just as well or better than they did before.

How is a lobectomy performed?

Depending on individual factors like the location of a patient’s tumor and his or her overall health, a lobectomy can be performed in one of several different ways:

  • Open surgery (thoracotomy) – a surgeon makes a large incision in the chest wall to access the cancerous lobe. This approach typically requires a hospital stay of five to seven days after the procedure.
  • Robotic surgery – a surgeon makes a series of small incisions between the ribs and performs the surgery by controlling robotic arms from a console next to the patient. Patients who have a robotic lobectomy often experience less bleeding and shorter recovery times.
  • Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) – a surgeon makes a series of small incisions and inserts a tube with a camera on the end, using a real-time view of the lung to guide the tools. This procedure also offers patients reduced recovery time.

Who should perform my lobectomy?

If you have been advised to undergo a lobectomy for lung cancer, it is important that you select an experienced surgeon at a reputable cancer center. Moffitt Cancer Center has been ranked as High Performing in lung cancer surgery by the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals for Cancer listing. Our surgeons specialize in robotic surgery, minimally invasive surgery and other advanced procedures that provide our patients with the best chance at reaching a favorable outcome and improved quality of life.

If you would like to consult with a physician at Moffitt about undergoing a lobectomy, you can request an appointment by filling out a new patient registration form or calling 1-888-663-3488. Referrals are not required.