The risks here are a guide; your own risk may vary. You should discuss the risks and benefits of surgery with your surgeon, especially if you are worried. Since you will already have severe lung disease the risks are higher. A minitracheostomy may be recommended to help reduce the risk of a chest infection after surgery for this reason.
General risks of thoracic surgery apply to lung volume reduction surgery.
In addition the following are risks of lung volume reduction surgery:
Minor more common risks
Air leaking from the lung into the chest drain for a few days is common after lung surgery. Occasionally this lasts for longer, possibly weeks. A chest drain will need to be in place until this settles, you may be able to go home with the chest drain still in and come back for regular check-ups until the air leak settles. You may experience an exacerbation of your usual emphysema symptoms such as increased mucous secretions and wheezing. Your kidneys may not work as well after surgery but this is usually temporary and gets better with extra fluid.
Major less common risks
A flare up of breathing problems may be severe enough to require help from a ventilator machine. This can be via a face mask with you fully awake, known as non-invasive ventilation (NIV). It may also be need via a tube in the trachea with you under sedation. If you need help breathing via a tube in the trachea for a longer period it may be beneficial to have a temporary tracheostomy. Lung volume reduction surgery is a high risk operation. 1 in 20 die from the surgery and 19 in 20 recover from surgery. This should be weighed against the potential benefits in decided whether or not to proceed.