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Benefits Of Mesothelioma Surgery
Though mesothelioma does not have any cure as yet, specialists and researchers have found different ways to reduce the suffering. There are different methods of treatment for this deadly disease, mesothelioma surgery being the most common method.
Doctors might recommend mesothelioma surgery to remove the main mesothelioma tumor and nearby tissues containing cancer cells. But if the mesothelioma is at its advanced stage, then mesothelioma surgery might be difficult as the tumor would have spread out to many areas.
In such a case, doctor might just remove the excessive fluid from around the chest or abdomen to relieve the pain caused by them. Mesothelioma surgery and other alternative methods of treatment should be discussed with the doctor prior to taking a decision.
Mesothelioma surgery is usually combined with chemotherapy or radiation. Through this combined treatment, the mesothelioma tumor is either reduced or removed and further tumor growth is controlled or stopped. There are different types of surgical options based on the kind of mesothelioma.
Surgery for pleural mesothelioma are:
Pleurectomy/decortication involves removal of infected lung and surrounding area. This leads to reduction of the size of the tumor and relieve pain due to the pressure on the chest cavity. A pleurectomy also controls fluid accumulation. The treatment is considered to be palliative - decreases pain but is not a cure.
When combined with radiation and chemotherapy, this form of treatment has proved to increase the life expectancy of the patient. Another advantage of this kind of mesothelioma surgery is that it has low mortality rate as compared to more invasive mesothelioma surgery like extrapleural pneumoectomy. This surgery is not possible if the tumor growth is extensive in pleural space.
Pneumonectomy leads to removal of the complete lung. This is done in advanced stages of pleural mesothelioma to relieve pain.
Extrapleural pneumonectomy is the most extreme form of surgery. In this kind of mesothelioma surgery is a complicated procedure conducted during the initial stages of mesothelioma, and involves total removal of the linings surrounding the lung (the lining of the lung), heart (the lining of the heart) and diaphragm to avert it from being infected with mesothelioma. Through this process, maximum amount of tumor cells can be removed.
Radiation and chemotherapy are also includes in this kind of treatment to prevent further spreading of the disease. This kind of mesothelioma surgery slows down the advancement of mesothelioma and improves the quality of life in some patients. Patients have a mean survival time of 35 months as compared to a survival time of 9 months for those treated with palliative or pain–reducing treatment.
This type of mesothelioma surgery has its share of risk like internal bleeding, respiratory failure, pneumonia, empyema (collection of pus in the chest cavity), deep vein thrombosis (blood clotting in the veins of the inner thigh or leg) and even death. This kind of surgery needs sophisticated instruments and larger medical centers with experienced surgeons.
Surgeries for other types of mesothelioma
For pericardial mesothelioma, mesothelioma surgery involves similar processes like tissue removal. These kinds of surgery help only in relieving pain and discomfort but do not cure the disease completely. Mesothelioma surgery is usually the last resort for the patients as this process is expensive and is usually not covered by most of the insurance companies. Patients are taking the help of legal attorneys to cover these huge amounts of expenses.
For peritoneal mesothelioma, surgery is usually not possible for everyone. If at all it is possible then the surgery is called as peritonectomy which involves removal of the peritoneum (the lining of the abdomen).
Recently a new technique is being used by doctors called cytoreductive surgery for this disease were six different kinds of peritonectomy procedures are conducted to extract the maximum amount of tumor. Post the surgery, chemotherapy may be given directly to the peritoneal cavity.
Some doctors also administer chemotherapy which is heated to a few degrees above body temperature called as hyperthermic intra-operative intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIIC) which has been more effective leading to survival rate of about 5 years. But this process is still under clinical trail.
Problems due to Mesothelioma Surgery:
• Internal blood clotting or thrombosis
• Paralysis of Vocal cord
• Renal problems
• Respiratory problem
• Accumulation of fluid in the sac surrounding the heart
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