What is a sleeve lobectomy?

A sleeve lobectomy, also called a bronchial sleeve resection or sleeve resection, is non-small cell lung cancer treatment where a lobe of the lung and part of the bronchi are removed in order to eliminate a cancerous tumor. The goal is to avoid complete removal of a lung.

Who is a candidate for a sleeve lobectomy?

A sleeve lobectomy is a procedure that is indicated for central lung tumors that have moved to the bronchus but have not invaded the lymph nodes.

It is an alternative treatment to a pneumonectomy, which is riskier and has a higher risk of mortality.

What are the benefits of a sleeve lobectomy vs a pneumonectomy?

A sleeve lobectomy is less risky than a pneumonectomy. Patients typically experience fewer complications and have an improved quality of life because they can breathe better. Further, mortality rate is lower with a sleeve lobectomy vs a pneumonectomy.

What are the risks associated with a sleeve lobectomy?

A sleeve lobectomy is a complicated, risky procedure and should be performed by experienced Mercy Health thoracic surgeons. Complications associated with a sleeve lobectomy include:

  • Severe bleeding
  • Respiratory failure
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Heart attack
  • Sudden death
  • Need for a total lung removal
  • Pneumonia
  • Shock
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Reduced blood flow to the heart

What to expect during a sleeve lobectomy?

During a sleeve lobectomy, your surgeon will remove a lobe of a lung in addition to part of the airway that sends air to the other lobe. The airway will then be reconnected to the remaining lobe when the affected part is removed. The goal of a sleeve lobectomy is to remove the cancerous tissue while avoiding having to have a pneumonectomy.

Recovery from a sleeve lobectomy

Although recovery from a sleeve lobectomy is quicker than after a pneumonectomy, it is a slow process. After the surgery, you will need to stay in the hospital for up to ten days while your doctors monitor your vital signs. Your doctor will give you strict discharge instructions that outline:

  • Nutrition
  • Breathing exercises
  • How quickly you can return to your normal activity level
  • Rehabilitation process

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