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What is a pulmonary lobectomy? Explaining the surgery that Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent
The New York Daily News - 12/21/2018
Dec. 21--The surprise surgery that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent Friday is shedding light on a medical operation that's used to treat lung ailments.
A pulmonary lobectomy can be characterized as the removal of an impaired lobe in one of a patient's lungs, according to WebMD.
Every set of lungs has a total of five lobes -- two in the left lung, and three in the right. When one or more of these lobes become damaged, they can be removed through a procedure called a lobectomy. Once the lobe or lobes are removed, the remaining healthy tissue should allow a person's lungs to work without issue.
A lobectomy is often needed to address the early stages of lung cancer, according to WebMD, but the operation can also treat issues like infections, abscesses, benign tumors and diseases such as emphysema.
Pulmonary is a phrase used to describe something involving a person's lungs.
Ginsburg, 85, had a pair of malignant nodules removed from her lungs during her operation Friday.
"Post-surgery, there was no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body," read a statement released by the court.
The cancerous nodules were discovered last month after Ginsburg was hospitalized with broken ribs.
Patients who undergo a pulmonary lobectomy often spend as long as a week in the hospital after the operation. The court said Ginsburg will remain at the hospital for several days. She underwent the procedure at Sloane Kettering in the Upper East Side.
Many who undergo the operation experience pain within several months after going under the knife, as well as fatigue during the initial weeks afterward. Infections and collapsed lungs are among the possible side effects of the procedure.
Ginsburg is expected to make a full recovery following her surgery.
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