Carcinoid tumors of the lung are an uncommon group of neoplasms of neuroendocrine origin. Pulmonary carcinoid tumors are typically benign and slow growing. However, more aggressive subtypes may develop early nodal and distant metastases. Although several histologic classification strategies have been proposed to distinguish benign from more aggressive subtypes, the lack of uniformity in terminology has resulted in increased ambiguity and confusion. Because these tumors are generally resistant to chemotherapy, complete surgical resection is the primary form of therapy. Long-term survival for patients with typical carcinoid is excellent but is decreased in those with the atypical subtype. Complete tumor resection with preservation of uninvolved pulmonary parenchyma remains the fundamental goal in the surgical treatment of this unusual clinical entity.