Wedge resection refers to a non-anatomic resection of a portion of the lung. This is usually done to make a diagnosis with respect to a lung nodule, and can be used to treat lung cancer in patients whose lung function does not permit a more extensive cancer operation such as lobectomy. Traditionally, an open thoracotomy was used to accomplish a wedge resection, but the incision was large, painful, led to postsurgical complications, long hospital stays and prolonged recovery times.
Currently, wedge resections are performed minimally invasively through a video-assisted approach. The advantages include smaller incisions, no rib removal or breaking by spreading, less pain, shorter hospital stay, and earlier return to normal activity and work. Furthermore, the minimally invasive video-assisted approach permits an opportunity for surgery in higher risk patients who would otherwise not be candidates for traditional open surgery.