Currently, surgery is the preferred treatment for resectable lung cancer. Most surgical reports have focused on preoperative risk factors and operative mortality along with long-term survival. Late functional disabilities following surgical resection are not widely reported and may be more important to the patient. There may exist patients in whom potential persistent impairments in functional status would lead them to consider less invasive approaches or alternative treatments. There are many tools available to measure functional status. These can serve as outcome measures and may also be used to guide patient counseling. One such tool, the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), was designed to be applicable in a wide range and severity of conditions. Its measures include behavioral functioning, perceived well being, social and role disability, and personal evaluations of general health. It aims to distinguish role changes attributable to physical limitations from those due to mental conditions.