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Lung Disease

​Most of the lung diseases that are treated by a general thoracic surgeon involve the removal of lung tumors related to cancer.  Other diseases of the lungs that can be treated by thoracic surgery include congestive obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD or emphysema) and lung infections including those involving mycobacteria, a micro-organism related to the tuberculosis bacillus.  There are several procedures that can be used to treat a variety of lung diseases depending on the type and severity of the condition.


A lobectomy is a surgery performed to remove one of the lobes of the lungs.  The human lung has five lobes and affected lobes can be removed to preserve the function of the remaining healthy lung tissue.


This is the removal of an entire lung when an abnormality or disease warrants it.

Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS)

This procedure is commonly used to perform a lobectomy and involves only three or four small incisions through which instruments for surgery are inserted.  One of the instruments used is a thoracoscope that is a tiny camera used to transmit images to a viewing screen.

Wedge Resection

A surgical procedure that removes a triangle-shaped slice of tissue is called a wedge resection.  This procedure can be used to remove a tumor or any other piece of tissue that needs to be removed.  The process usually involves the removal of a small amount of normal tissue around it as well.  This type of repair doesn't greatly distort the shape of the organ and leaves a single stitch line upon closure.

Our surgeons who perform this procedure

This information is provided by the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. It is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.


CU Anschutz

Academic Office One

12631 East 17th Avenue

Room: 6111

Aurora, CO 80045


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