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February 15, 1965

After Pneumonectomy, What About Other Lung?

JAMA. 1965;191(7):29-34. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080070105047

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What happens to the remaining lung after pneumonectomy?

In what he believes is the first long-term study of both the preoperative and postoperative function of the remaining lung, Edward A. Gaensler, MD, associate professor of surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, reported these findings to the annual meeting of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

  • Hyperinflation of variable degree began two weeks after surgery and progressed for the next six months. But further distention over the next ten years was considered minimal.

  • There was no evidence that hyperinflation leads to lung departitioning and chronic obstructive emphysema.

  • Rate of aging of the thoracopulmonary complex of patients with lungs initially free of disease appeared to be the same as that of normal subjects. In patients with preexisting emphysema or with pulmonary fibrosis due to healed tuberculosis, deterioration of the remaining lung progressed at a much more rapid rate and they

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