Surgical management of tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease which mainly attacks your lungs. It may spread to other parts of the body such as the brain, kidneys and spine. TB is caused by bacteria called mycobacterium tuberculosis which may spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air when one sneezes or coughs.

What are the related symptoms of tuberculosis?

When tuberculosis occurs in other parts of the body, symptoms differ depending on the organs involved. Signs and symptoms of tuberculosis may include:

  • Coughing which may last for more than three weeks
  • Coughing blood
  • Chest pains or pains when you are breathing or coughing
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite

How is tuberculosis treated?

Depending on the severity of your condition, you may be prescribed medication such as antibiotics and TB drugs to help treat the TB. If you have drug-resistant TB, Dr Dongo may recommend surgical approaches to manage tuberculosis. He may recommend the following surgeries:

  • Pneumonectomy
    This is a type of lung surgery that is done to remove one of your lungs due to cancer, trauma, tuberculosis or other pulmonary conditions. During a pneumonectomy, Dr Dongo will make an incision in your chest on the side of the affected lung. He will then spread the ribs apart and surgically remove the diseased lung. The pleural space, also known as the sac that contains the lungs, will fill up with air, and fluid gradually takes the place of the air. Therefore, a catheter may be inserted in the pleural space to remove air and fluid after surgery. The incisions will be stitched or stapled closed after surgery.
  • Lobectomy
    This is a type of lung surgery that is performed to resect one of the lobes of the lungs. During the surgery, Dr Dongo will make an incision in your chest at the level of the affected lobe. He will then separate the ribs to access the lungs and remove the affected lobe. One or two catheters will be inserted in your chest to remove air and fluid after surgery. The surgeon will then stitch or staple close the incisions.


A cardiothoracic surgeon is a specialist medical doctor who performs operations on the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest. Dr Lehlohonolo Dongo's Qualifications.


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