Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers many internal organs. Surgery is one of the treatment options for mesothelioma, and several types of surgeries may be considered depending on the stage of the cancer, the patient’s overall health, and other factors. Here are some common types of mesothelioma surgeries:
- Pleurectomy/Decortication (P/D): This surgery involves the removal of the diseased pleura (the lining around the lungs) along with any visible tumors. Unlike the more aggressive extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), P/D aims to preserve the affected lung, reducing potential complications.
- Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP): In this extensive surgery, the surgeon removes the affected lung, the pleura, part of the diaphragm, and the lining around the heart (pericardium). This radical procedure is usually considered for earlier-stage mesothelioma cases and aims to remove as much of the cancer as possible.
- Cytoreductive Surgery (CRS) with Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC): This procedure is specific to peritoneal mesothelioma, affecting the lining of the abdomen. CRS involves removing visible tumors from the abdominal lining, followed by HIPEC, where heated chemotherapy drugs are circulated throughout the abdominal cavity to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Pericardiectomy: For cases where mesothelioma has affected the lining around the heart (pericardium), surgeons may perform a pericardiectomy to remove part or all of the pericardium.
- Thoracoscopy and Laparoscopy: These minimally invasive procedures involve the insertion of a thin tube (with a camera and surgical instruments) through small incisions to visualize the affected area, take biopsies, or perform minor surgeries.
- Pleurodesis: While not a traditional surgery, pleurodesis is a procedure where a substance (such as talc) is inserted into the pleural space to create inflammation and scarring. This helps to seal the space between the layers of the pleura, preventing fluid buildup (effusion) in pleural mesothelioma cases.
The suitability of a particular surgery depends on various factors, including the stage and location of the cancer, the patient’s overall health, and the recommendations of a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals.
It’s crucial for individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma to consult with a specialized oncologist or mesothelioma surgeon to determine the most appropriate treatment plan tailored to their specific condition.