If you have mesothelioma, your doctor may recommend mesothelioma surgery as a treatment option. Mesothelioma surgery can be performed to extend a patient’s life (potentially curative surgery) or to relieve pain or other distressing symptoms of mesothelioma (palliative surgery). Before you consent to mesothelioma surgery, be sure you understand the treatment goals.
Types of Mesothelioma Surgery
Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) is extensive mesothelioma surgery in which the surgeon removes an entire lung and part of the chest lining, diaphragm, and lining of the sac around the heart (pericardium). This EPP surgery is performed only in large medical centers, and only if the surgeon believes the injured is healthy enough.
(P/D) is less extensive mesothelioma surgery in which part of the covering of the lungs and lining of the chest are removed along with part of the outside surface of the lungs. Pleurectomy/Decortication surgery can be potentially curative or palliative.
is palliative mesothelioma surgery in which the surgeon drains fluid from the space between the layers of the pleura and then uses chemicals or drugs to create a scar in the space to stop the build-up of fluid in the pleural cavity.
Mesothelioma Surgery and Adjuvant Therapy
Even when mesothelioma surgery removes all visible cancer, some cancer cells may be left behind. To reduce the risk that these cells will grow and divide, causing the cancer to come back, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy or radiation as an adjuvant (post-mesothelioma surgery) therapy to kill any remaining cancer cells.
Is Mesothelioma Surgery Right for Me?
Extensive mesothelioma surgery is most likely to result in long-term benefits if your cancer is Stage 1 or Stage 2. If you have surgery for later-stage cancer, the benefits are likely to be shorter-term.
To endure extensive mesothelioma surgery, you must be relatively healthy. If your health is poor, your doctor may recommend palliative procedures, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy instead. These treatments are not as likely to result in a cure but can help by relieving symptoms or by shrinking or slowing the growth of the cancer for a limited time.
If you have mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more about your legal options, contact a mesothelioma lawyer today.