The type of resection is determined by the nature, size and location of the tumor and how much it has spread:
- segmentectomy is used for small tumors
- lobectomy is used if the tumor is bigger or too close to the heart
- pneumonectomy (rare), when it is necessary to remove an entire lung to eliminate the tumor.
When the tumor is malignant, lymph nodes around the lung and heart are also removed and analyzed to establish whether the cancer has spread.