A lung lobectomy is a surgical procedure in which a section (lobe) of the lungs is removed due to a medical condition in a certain part of the lung. Those conditions include lung cancer most commonly as well as tuberculosis (TB), lung abscess, emphysema, non-cancerous tumors, and fungal infections. Healthy lung tissue is left intact during the procedure, allowing adequate lung function to continue. Traditionally, removing a lobe required major surgery and a large incision in the chest (thoracotomy). Less invasive techniques are often used today, requiring several small incisions and allowing for shorter recovery times. Special surgical instruments are necessary to perform these minimally invasive procedures, including a tiny camera that is inserted into the chest through one of the incisions and transmits images to a viewing monitor to help guide the surgeon. This type of surgery is known as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Robotic surgery techniques are now being used as well, allowing for even smaller incisions and less pain. The type of approach used depends on the surgeon, the patient's medical condition, and other factors.
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