Surgery can be used to treat all mesothelioma types. In addition, surgery can be used for different purposes such as to cure a patient’s mesothelioma or to simply relieve mesothelioma symptoms. Often, surgery is used in combination with other mesothelioma treatments in order to get the best results possible. While several different surgical procedures exist, whether or not a particular patient is a surgery candidate depends on several factors, including:

  • cancer stage
  • the patient’s age
  • the patient’s overall health

Potentially Curative Mesothelioma Surgery

Mesothelioma curative surgery is performed with “curative intent,”? meaning the surgery could potentially cure the patient but there are no guarantees. While microscopic disease will most likely remain after curative surgery, the surgery involves removing as much mesothelioma from the patient’s body as possible. After surgery, other treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy, are used to eliminate remaining cancer cells. 

Since mesothelioma develops near the body’s major organs, removing the cancer is very risky. Many patients die during curative surgery or shortly after. Further, those who survive usually are not actually cured. On the other hand, curative surgery can help stop mesothelioma from spreading and increase life expectancy if a patient is strong enough to survive the operation. As a result, mesothelioma curative surgery is generally recommended for younger, healthy patients with early-stage mesothelioma.

Palliative Surgery

Because mesothelioma is often diagnosed in its late stages, mesothelioma curative surgery is not always practical. In these cases, palliative surgery, which is surgery that treats a mesothelioma symptom rather than treating the disease itself, may be the next best treatment option. Although palliative surgery does not increase mesothelioma patients’ life expectancy, it can help patients live their remaining months more comfortably.

The most common mesothelioma palliative surgery is called chest tube drainage. This surgery is performed on patients with pleural mesothelioma and involves inserting a tube or catheter into a patient’s chest to drain fluid buildup. Other palliative surgeries include surgery to remove the tissue surrounding the lungs or abdomen and surgery to partially remove the cancer. In addition, lung transplant surgery may be an option.

Have you been diagnosed with mesothelioma? Contact us today to find out whether you may be entitled to compensation.

Published November 17, 2011 by