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The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Lung Cancer Surgery

At Johns Hopkins, our lung cancer experts provide you with the safest, most effective surgical options for the size and location of your lung tumor. Our doctors perform more than 800 lung cancer surgical procedures each year, making us one of the top centers for high patient volume in the region. Our goal is to preserve as much of the lung as possible, supporting your lung’s function in your respiratory system. 

Lung Cancer Surgery at Johns Hopkins

Lung cancer surgery involves the surgical removal of lung tumors. Depending on the size and location of your lung tumor, your surgeon may recommend minimally invasive surgery or traditional open surgery.

We may recommend surgery in combination with other effective lung cancer treatments including chemotherapy and radiation therapy and techniques such as interventional pulmonology.

Our minimally invasive techniques include:

  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS): During the procedure, your surgeon inserts a thoracoscope (a thin, lighted tube with a small camera attached) through tiny incisions in the chest, along with special instruments. The physician can visualize, evaluate and treat your lung tumor.
  • Robotic-assisted lung surgery: During robotic-assisted lung surgery, your surgeon works at a remote console controlling the surgical instruments with expert precision to perform the surgical procedure.

Our surgical options include:

  • Lobectomy: Most common lung cancer surgery; removes one lobe of the lung affected with cancer
  • Wedge resection: Removes small, wedge-shaped section of the lung that contains the lung cancer tumor  
  • Pneumonectomy: Removes the entire lung affected by lung cancer
  • Sleeve resection: Removes lung cancer tumors in the airway (bronchus, artery to the lung (pulmonary artery) or lobe of the lung

We are constantly innovating new surgical treatments. Learn more about our research and clinical trials.

Minimally Invasive Surgery Options for Lung Cancer | Dr. Errol Bush

Johns Hopkins thoracic surgeon Errol Bush discusses what surgical options are available for lung cancer patients, the recovery and aesthetic benefits of minimally invasive surgery for lung cancer, and when it’s appropriate and why it’s important to be treated at a comprehensive cancer center, such as the Johns Hopkins Lung Cancer Program.