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Thoracic Surgery

Lung & Respiratory Operations

There’s no question that when a doctor recommends thoracic surgery, it is a necessary, potentially life-saving operation. Lung issues are nothing to take lightly. At Salinas Valley Health, we realize you may be feeling nervous about an upcoming operation. We have gone above and beyond to outfit our experienced thoracic surgeons with leading-edge technology that is safe and effective in treating lung conditions.

Preparing for Surgery

Before recommending surgery, a doctor will evaluate your physical fitness to determine if your body can handle the operation. This may include an exercise test, blood analysis and cardiac evaluation. If you are a candidate for surgery, the doctor will schedule your operation and review instructions on how to prepare. This includes abstaining from food and drink 12 hours before the surgery.

Conditions That Require Surgery

There are certain conditions that almost always require thoracic surgery in order to recover.

Common conditions that require surgery:

  • Lung cancer – Lung cancer is a particularly aggressive form of cancer, and surgery is one of the most effective means we have of treating it. If a tumor is found early, a doctor will probably recommend surgery as soon as possible to remove the cancerous area before it has a chance to spread. Surgery is not typically recommended for patients in which the cancer has already metastasized (spread to other parts of the body).
  • Injury – If a heavy blow to the chest makes it difficult to breathe, something in the lungs or throat may have been damaged. If a diagnostic imaging test shows damage, a doctor may recommend surgery so that they can manually repair the structures.
  • Emphysema – Though usually managed with medication and noninvasive treatment, severe cases of emphysema may require a doctor to perform surgery so the patient can breathe easier. Postoperative care is designed to help the patient manage the condition and prevent the need for another operation.

You may be required to stay in the for a few days after your operation, where specially trained nurses and medical professionals facilitate your recovery. Doctors will monitor you for complications, and once you are found to be in good health you are free to return home. At Salinas Valley Health, we encourage patients to ask questions and let us know any concerns they have about surgery. Stressing about your operation too much can actually interfere with your recovery, so it is best to learn as much as you can in order to feel comfortable and confident.