Pneumonectomy is the complete surgical removal of the lung. It is most commonly performed for a primary lung malignancy. The lung is removed in its entirety providing the patient has adequate pulmonary reserve from the contralateral lung.
Recognised post-pneumonectomy complications include:
- post pneumonectomy syndrome
- bronchopleural fistula formation
- cardiac herniation
- recurrent pneumothorax
Pneumonectomy is one of the causes of a white out of the hemithorax. The hemithorax is completely opacified with the trachea pulled towards the side of the abnormality. Surgical clips may be identified at the lung hilum.
The lung is absent at the side of surgery, with resultant mediastinal shift and compensatory hyperaeration of the contralateral lung.