For some patients with mesothelioma, surgery may be the best treatment option. Surgeries used to treat mesothelioma include wide local excision, extrapleural pneumonectomy, and pleurodesis. In some cases of mesothelioma, surgery may be followed with radiation therapy or chemotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells.
An Overview of Mesothelioma SurgeryThe following surgeries may be used for mesothelioma treatment:
- Wide local excision
- Pleurectomy and decortication
- Extrapleural pneumonectomy
Pleurectomy and Decortication
This type of surgery removes part of the covering of the lungs and lining of the chest and part of the outside surface of the lungs.
With a pneumonectomy, one whole lung and part of the lining of the chest, the diaphragm, and the lining of the sac around the heart are removed.
A pleurodesis is a surgical procedure that uses chemicals or drugs to make a scar in the space between the layers of the pleura. Fluid is first drained from the space using a catheter or chest tube and the chemical or drug is put into the space. The scarring stops the buildup of fluid in the pleural cavity.
Other Mesothelioma Surgery InformationEven if the doctor removes all the cancer that can be seen at the time of the surgery, some patients may be given chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery for mesothelioma treatment. These additional treatments are used to kill any cancer cells that are left. Mesothelioma treatment given after surgery, to increase the chances of a cure, is called adjuvant therapy.