3 things to know about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lung cancer surgery

A male doctor looking at X ray images

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was discharged today from an unaffiliated hospital after undergoing surgery to have two cancerous nodules removed from her left lung last week. According to a court spokesperson, Justice Ginsburg, 85, is now recuperating at home.

HCA Healthcare Today talked with experts from Sarah Cannon, the cancer institute of HCA Healthcare, for more information about lung cancer surgery options and Justice Ginsburg’s procedure, known as a pulmonary lobectomy.

Here are three things you should know.

  • For early-stage lung cancers, surgery is most often the recommended treatment. During surgery, the surgeon removes the part of the lung with the tumor in it.
  • Depending on the stage of lung cancer, tumor location, and the patient’s lung fitness, different operative procedures may be discussed. Common procedures include:
      • Wedge or Segmental Resection: Removal of the tumor with a small part of surrounding normal lung
      • Lobectomy: Removal of lobe (or part) of the lung
      • Pneumonectomy: Removal of one entire lung, or
      • Sleeve Resection: Removal of lobe with part of the bronchus (airway)

    The latter two procedures are generally only necessary for more advanced disease stages.

  • A lobectomy, segmentectomy, or wedge resection are the most common surgical procedures for early-stage lung cancer. In each of these procedures, the surgeon removes part of the lung and also samples the lymph nodes around the lung.

It’s been reported that there was no evidence of any remaining disease in Justice Ginsburg’s body post-surgery.

If you have questions about surgical options for lung cancer, you can speak to a registered nurse 24/7 through askSARAH at (844) 482-4812.

Blog image: stock photo

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