Surgical resection remains an important form of treatment for pulmonary metastases from a variety of solid tumors. The most significant factors in selecting patients for operation include control of the primary tumor, ability to resect all metastatic disease, absence of extrathoracic metastases, lack of better alternative systemic therapy, and sufficient cardiopulmonary reserve for the planned resection. A solitary pulmonary nodule and long tumor doubling times and disease-free intervals usually define patients who experience better long-term survival after pulmonary resection but do not constitute absolute criteria by which to select such patients. Complete surgical resection is critical to achieving long-term survival and is best accomplished via a standard or "clamshell" thoracotomy or a median sternotomy. The decision to proceed with the surgical resection of pulmonary metastases should be a multidisciplinary one, made jointly by the thoracic surgeon and the medical oncologist.