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Preparing for a Pneumonectomy

A pneumonectomy is performed on an inpatient basis, which means you will stay in the hospital after the procedure. Some people also need to stay overnight before the surgery.
Depending on your situation, you may undergo other tests prior to your pneumonectomy. Your healthcare provider will explain the specific purpose of each test.
Your healthcare provider should also give you specific instructions, telling you where and when to arrive at the medical facility, how to prepare for your procedure, and what to expect the day of and the days following your surgery. You will be asked to not eat or drink anything for at least eight hours before your procedure.
Most people stay in the hospital for about three to five days after the operation, but some people need to stay longer. You may want to have someone drive you to the hospital and help you get settled in. Since you won't be able to drive for some time after your procedure, be sure to also arrange for someone to drive you home when you leave the hospital.

The Surgery Itself

As part of a pneumonectomy, the surgeon will make an incision, or cut, on your side, which will start between two of your ribs and go around to your back. Your ribs will be spread and held open. He or she will then carefully cut the veins, arteries, and bronchus to the lung that is being taken out. After being cut, each of these will carefully be sewn closed and the lung will be removed.
(Click Pneumonectomy Surgery for more information.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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