Dr. D'Cunha on Surgical Options for High-Risk Patients With Lung Cancer

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Jonathan D'Cunha, MD, PhD, FACS, discusses surgical options for high-risk patients with lung cancer.

Jonathan D’Cunha, MD, PhD, FACS, senior associate consultant of thoracic surgery, Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic, discusses surgical options for high-risk patients with lung cancer.

Elderly patients with a history of smoking who have a lung nodule may be deemed ineligible for surgical resection as they are at an increased risk of developing complications from the operation, explains D’Cunha.

Factors including the location of the tumor, the level of emphysema, and resectability of the lung can help shed light on a patient’s fitness for surgery, says D’Cunha.

Additionally, preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative measures can be implemented to enhance a patient’s surgical outcome, says D’Cunha. Increasing strength, improving nutrition, and stopping smoking are important prehabilitation efforts, explains D'Cunha. Postoperative pain management with analgesics may improve recovery. Finally, utilizing a multidisciplinary team to treat patients with lung cancer is critical to optimize care, concludes D’Cunha.

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