Asbestos Mesothelioma Surgery
There are a number of surgical procedures that may offer hope or have a palliative effect for mesothelioma patients. Thoracentesis is a minimally invasive procedure during which a needle is inserted into the chest cavity to drain excess fluid and provide relief to the patient suffering from pleural mesothelioma. In some cases, antibiotics or talcum powder may also be injected into the chest at this time. In patients with peritoneal mesothelioma, a similar procedure may be performed to drain the abdomen. Similarly, a needle may be inserted into the area around the heart to drain fluid that is a result of pericardial mesothelioma.
In rare cases, when the patient’s mesothelioma is at an early stage, curative surgery known as pleurectomy may be performed to remove pleura (the lining of the lungs), thus removing the cancerous tumor, as well. Unfortunately, in many cases microscopic cancer cells have already spread, so this procedure is not an effective cure to mesothelioma.
In cases of localized (early stage) mesothelioma of the pleura, extrapleural pneumonectomy is a very extensive surgery that may be offered. This operation is only performed by a select few doctors, as it involves the removal of portions of the lung, pericardium, and diaphragm on the affected side of the body in order to remove a tumor without dissecting it.
A surgical option for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma is known as a peritonectomy. This procedure can only be performed at very early stages of the cancer, and involves the removal of a portion or all of the peritoneum to rid the body of cancerous tissues.
As with most cancer surgeries, patients who undergo mesothelioma surgery may also be treated with chemotherapy and radiation.