Surgery can be performed mesothelioma patients for two reasons: to try to cure a disease or for palliative reasons to keep the patient comfortable and to improve the quality of life. Because mesothelioma is almost always diagnosed in its later stages, curative surgery is usually not an option. When the tumor has metastasized outside the pleural cavity, relief is usually only the heads, where the cut is used.
As tests are developed that can help diagnose mesothelioma at an earlier time, surgery may be more of an option in the future. At that time, doctors will be able to attempt to remove the cancer and some surrounding tissue in order to stabilize the disease.
More often, however, surgery is used as a palliative measure. For example, physicians can choose an operation called pleurodesis, which involves injecting talc into the lungs to prevent fluid return. A thoracentesis, a surgical procedure that removes fluid in the lungs using a thin needle, may also be recommended.
In severe cases, pleurectomy can be recommended for palliative purposes. This involves the removal of the pleura - the lining of the lungs - and to guide fluid and reduce the pain and difficulty breathing.
Advancements in Mesothelioma Surgery
In recent years progress has been extensive surgeries that have extended survival rates in these mesothelioma diagnosed with early disease. Among the most exciting of these treatments is what is known as extrapleural pneumonectomy. This procedure requires the expertise of a major medical mesothelioma involves the surgical removal of all the affected lung, pleurectomy, removal of the pericardium (membrane that surrounds the heart), and diaphragm. During surgery, chemotherapy agent for the intervention (eg, cisplatin and gemcitabine) is applied directly to the affected area to remove any remaining malignant cells. Following the application of chemotherapy, the diaphragm and pericardium are reconstructed with prosthetic material.