What is Lobectomy?

Your lungs are made up of five sections called lobes. You have three in your right lung and two in your left. A lobectomy removes one of these lobes. After the surgery, your healthy tissue makes up for the missing section, so your lungs should work as well or better than they did before.

Lobectomy is usually the main treatment for people with the early stages of lung cancer, to remove the tumor in just one part of the lung. In that case, a lobectomy offers the best chance for a cure and may be the only treatment you need. But it does not help when cancer has spread to your whole lung or to other parts of your body.

The surgery may also help people who have other diseases in one part of their lungs, like:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Emphysema
  • Tumors that are not cancer
  • Fungal infections
  • Pus that fills one area, called an abscess

When you have the damaged lobe removed, other parts of your lungs expand, making it easier to breathe.