Mesothelioma Surgery

One of rare but dangerous disease commonly seen in USA is Mesothelioma. Caused by asbestos, Mesothelioma may look to be not-so-dangerous, but after being diagnosed with Mesothelioma, there are no cases of people have survived for long. As a result, this disease is considered to be dangerous and proper treatment and medication would be advised, however, as it is a form of cancer, once affected, people cannot be treated to this disease.

Even though Mesothelioma is incurable, there are methods that help in reduction of risk factors of this disease. More than ever, these methods are now taken by doctors (specialists of Mesothelioma) as safety measure from this life-threatening disease.

Having multiple methods or treatments for all disease is always favorable to all people who do not want to be suffering from Mesothelioma. One of such methods is Mesothelioma Surgery.

Surgery is considered to be a primary curative treatment option for people who are suffering from Mesothelioma. Generally used along with chemotherapy and radiation, this method has the highest rate of success for patients of Mesothelioma.

So, a question may arise: Does surgery totally treat Mesothelioma?

Answer to this question would be a sad NO. As mentioned earlier, Mesothelioma is a form of cancer and it is renowned to all people of our world that cancer is not treatable no matter what medication a person uses. Using surgery for Mesothelioma depends on stages of this disease. In early stages of Mesothelioma, there have been reports that surgery has helped to improve survival rates of some people and there are some patients who have even reached remission. However, different to earlier stages of Mesothelioma, this method provides just some comfort and relieves pain of patients or people suffering from Mesothelioma.

There are some curative options for surgery to Mesothelioma as well. They can be briefed as:

  1. Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP)
    • This surgical option is mostly used on patients who are suffering from stages 1 and 2 pleural Mesothelioma. This surgery method consists of completely removing of affected area (lung in this case), pleura and some part of that patient’s diaphragm.
  2. Pleurectomy/Decortication (P/D)
    • Another method as a surgical option of Mesothelioma would be Pleurectomy/Decortication, also known as P/D in short. In this method, lung’s lining and any visible tumors is removed from patient’s body. This method is commonly used on patients suffering from Stage 1 pleural Mesothelioma.
  3. Cytoreduction with HIPEC
    • Final method of Mesothelioma surgery is Cytoreduction with HIPEC. In this surgery method, a term Cytoreduction is used which means removal of lining of abdomen, also called peritoneum, from patient’s body. This surgery is mostly combined with heated intraoperative chemotherapy, also called HIPEC in short.

When talking about Mesothelioma surgery, we cannot ignore those people who specialize in various types of Mesothelioma. Thoracic surgeon is the one who deals with patients that are suffering from pleural or pericardial Mesothelioma. These surgeons are specialists on surgery of heart, lungs and other areas of chest area that are affected by cancer, or in this case, Mesothelioma. Patients who are suffering from peritoneal Mesothelioma are generally referred to a gastrointestinal surgeon. These specialists are in charge of handling cancers of abdomen, supposedly like peritoneal Mesothelioma.

Some surgical options for Mesothelioma that are available to patients generally require a large amount of recovery time. Each surgery is deemed to have it own recovery process as well. Patients who want to go through surgery process should understand details of Mesothelioma surgery recovery before making an all-important decision to undergo surgical treatment.

Getting back to main methods of surgery for pleural Mesothelioma, let us discuss about EPP (Extrapleural Pneumonectomy) and P/D (Pleurectomy with Decortication). Preference of surgeons may vary according to themselves as both surgeries are usually made personal and are personalized for patients of Mesothelioma. Both of these surgical methods are concerned with removal of some part of patients, generally lining of lungs where Mesothelioma has first been seen. Debate about EPP vs P/D has to do with whether or not it is necessary to remove patient’s lung to treat their pleural Mesothelioma.

EPP surgery is considered to be one of first surgery methods to be developed for pleural Mesothelioma. This method usually involves removing lung or lining of lung that has been affected by Mesothelioma. Surgeons and specialists are hoping, most of time, that they can remove more of this cancer or disease by removing whole of lung.

There is another debate about whether or not to remove patient’s lung as surgeons and specialists worry about the quality of life of patients with only one lung and as a result, prefer not to perform EPP surgery. As a consequence to this, P/D surgery was developed in form on an alternative to EPP. During the process of P/D surgery, surgeons prefer to remove the lining of lung or affected parts rather than whole lung itself.

Another question may arise: Which surgery can be chosen if one is affected from Mesothelioma?

This question can be answered in a debatable way as well. Surgery is not considered to be right for everyone. There are, however, some surgical options available to each patient whether it be either curative or palliative. One and only person who is capable of identifying which surgery is right for a patient would be specialist or surgeon themselves.

There are some factors that determine which surgery is right for one to follow. They are:

  • Location of disease
  • Spreading areas of disease
  • The overall health of patient themselves

If a patient is suffering from stage one Mesothelioma, a palliative surgical option would probably be the best option. If one is an early stage pleural patient, doctor or specialist would be responsible to choose which method to be used.

An experienced and well-educated surgeon or specialist would be number one choice to identify which surgical option to choose among various ones available to patients. However, there are, always, debates among specialists themselves about choosing right option and following treatment procedure in order to, at least, refrain from a patient suffering from a life-threatening disease like Mesothelioma.

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