Are There Risks With Surgery?

Are There Risks With Surgery?

December 14, 2021
Emily Cassidy, MD
Emily Cassidy, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgery



As with any surgery, lung surgery does come with its own set of risks. Lung surgery can sound really scary, but the true risk of any severe complications is really quite low. The mortality for a lobectomy is less than 1%.


The bigger things that we worry about are things like pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs. Bleeding complications can occur, albeit that’s a low risk as well, less than 5%. Blood clots, pleural effusion, which is an abnormal accumulation of fluid that can occur in the chest in the same space where the lung has been removed.


Key Takeaways

1. Lung surgery does come risks like any surgery but the risk of severe complications is very low.

2. The mortality rate for a lobectomy is less than 1%.

3. The bigger concerns are pneumonia (an infection of the lungs) and bleeding complications can occur (though that risk is less than 5%.)

4. Blood clots, pleural effusion (an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the chest) can also occur.