Lung Operation Program for Patients

The Surgical Patient Education Your Lung Operation Home Skills program teaches you how to care for yourself before and after your lung operation. This program will help you understand how your lungs work and the type of operation you need. You will learn what tests you need and what else you can do to prepare for your operation. The program will also tell you what to expect when you go home and how you, your family, and the surgical team can prepare you for a safe discharge and recovery.

This program will help you understand your respiratory system, know what tests and procedures you need before the operation, and the types of operations. Problem solving, home management tips, as well as other resources are also included. You will be taught the best practice and shown each step of your care by video-led instruction. You are encouraged to use the lung operation skill kit along with the course. The skill kit contains an instruction booklet with images, a video, an activity log, medication list, a quit smoking plan, and a survivorship plan. A self-assessment checklist and references for additional support are also included. Visit the ACS website for more information or to order the Your Lung Operation Home Skills Kit.

The Your Lung Operation Home Skills Kit was developed by a team of surgeons, nurses and patients working with the American College of Surgeons Division of Education.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the reasons for a removal of a lung tumor, lung section, or the lung itself.  
  • Describe the types of operations for removing a tumor, section, or the whole lung.
  • Know the preoperative tests and procedures needed before a lung operation.
  • Learn the importance of quitting smoking and how to develop a quit plan before your operation.
  • Learn what is involved in home care after the operation including medication, exercise, pain management, bathing, hygiene, and wound care.

Course Outline

  • Understanding Your Lung Operation
  • Your Lungs
  • Lung Cancer
  • Understanding your Operation
  • Preoperative tests
  • Home Preparation
    • Quitting Smoking
    • Medications
    • Exercise
  • The Day of Your Operation
  • After your Operation
  • Problem Solving and Emergencies
  • Your Recovery and Discharge
  • When to Call the Doctor
  • Resources
  • Evaluation
  • Certificate of Completion

Target Audience

  • Patients who need a lung operation
  • Caregivers assisting a patient who is returning to home or a nursing home after a lung operation
  • Anyone teaching families and caregivers home care skills following a lung operation


If you have any questions about this course, please contact

If you have any technical questions, contact

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 Certificate of Completion
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Thoracic Surgery Patient Education Task Force

Traves Crabtree, MD, FACS
Malcolm DeCamp, MD, FACS
Anne Marie Herlehy, DNP, RN
Daniel Miller, MD, FACS
Ara Vaporciyan, MD, FACS
Stephen Yang, MD, FACS

Patient Education Committee

Ajit Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, Co-Chair 
H. Randolph Bailey, MD, FACS, Co-Chair
James Elsey, MD, FACS
David V. Feliciano, MD, FACS
Frederick L. Greene, MD, FACS
Ted A. James, MD, FACS
Marshall Z. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Patricia L. Turner, MD, FACS

ACS Surgical Patient Education Program

Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC

Assistant Director
Kathleen Heneghan, PhD, RN, PN-C

Nancy Strand, RN, MPH

Program Coordinator
Amanda Bruggeman

A Certificate of Completion/Certificate of Participation will be awarded for this course.

This activity is not eligible for CME or CE credits.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 Certificate of Completion
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You may enroll in the online course at no charge. You will be asked to register for the course and provide information to complete the registration process. You will not be charged a participation fee.