New lung surgery procedure cuts recovery time to just few days - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/4/09

New lung surgery procedure cuts recovery time to just few days

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By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - There's a new way to fight lung cancer which is allowing patients to recover from surgery in just a few days, instead of the weeks or months it takes from traditional lung surgery.  This new method is not common yet, but some surgeons across the country are removing lung tumors through two tiny incisions.  Doctors insert a small camera through one of the incisions, and with the other, place a special instrument that goes in between the ribs and removes the tumors.

Dr. Sandeep Khandar, a thoracic surgeon says, "The biggest advantage is not spreading the ribs.  With the minimally invasive operation, we're able to get people out of the hospital as early as the next day.  Get them back to work in a couple of days, back to functioning in their general capacity within a week or so."

"After the operation, he said, I'll have you walking from the recovery room into your room and I said, that's pretty much unbelievable," said Bryan White, a lung cancer patient. White says that he was home from the hospital the very next day, and returned to his running routine in less than a week. 

Dr. Khandar says most lung tumors can now be removed through this new procedure, but some larger tumors or those that are located in the center of the Lung may still need to be removed through the traditional open surgery.

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