The most commonly asked questions, answered
Because mesothelioma is most often diagnosed in its later stages, any type of curative surgery for the disease is rarely an option. A number of surgical procedures have been recommended for mesothelioma patients. Some are quite simple and may be performed more than once, while others are quite drastic and only performed as a last resport.
Thoracentesis is probably the most frequent surgical procedure performed. This involves the aspiration of fluid from the area around the lungs. The removal of the fluid can make the patient more comfortable and temporarily relieve symptoms of the disease, such as chest pain or shortness of breath.
Pleurodesis is a procedure tat involves the injection of talc or other chemicals into the chest cavity, which causes scarring and prevents fluid from returning. The American Cancer Society reports that this procedure has about a 90% success rate and that it will eliminate or significantly reduce the build-up of fluid at least temporarily in a majority of patients.
Pleurectomy and decortication is the most complicated surgical procedure. The pleurectomy/decortication involves removal of the pleura - the lining of the lung - where the tumour is located. This procedure is performed with “radical intent”. While it is not possible to cure the disease, this procedure aims to remove as much cancer tissue as possible. It will be necessary to
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