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Lung diseases

Calcified lymph nodes

11/24/2009

Question:

I was just told I have a calcified lymph node in my right lung and it was best to have it removed. What are the implications of having it surgically removed versus not having it removed?>

Answer:

The evaluation of a lung nodule involves consideration of risk factors (smoking, family history, environmental exposures), radiographic characteristics (size, location, calcifications), and medical co-morbidities. In general, calcified nodules are less likely to be cancer, particularly if they are entirely calcified. The calcified nodule is commonly a result of a prior infection, such as histoplasmosis. I recommend that you see a lung specialist prior to surgery. Either a pulmonologist or a general thoracic surgeon would be ideal. And if surgery is required, it would be prudent to consider evaluation by a thoracic surgeon experienced in minimally invasive thoracic surgery (VATS).

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Response by:

Michael F Reed, MD Michael F Reed, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati