Surgery

Palliative Surgery for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Palliative surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma is a procedure aimed at managing symptoms and improving the quality of life for individuals diagnosed with this aggressive form of cancer. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum) and is commonly associated with exposure to asbestos.

The primary goals of palliative surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma are to alleviate symptoms, such as abdominal pain, ascites (fluid buildup in the abdomen), bowel obstruction, and other discomforts caused by the disease. Unlike curative surgery, which aims to remove the cancerous tissues with the intent to cure the disease, palliative surgery focuses on symptom relief and improving the patient’s quality of life.

Types of palliative surgeries for peritoneal mesothelioma may include:

  1. Paracentesis: A procedure to drain excess fluid from the abdominal cavity to relieve discomfort caused by ascites.
  2. Pleurodesis: While primarily used for pleural mesothelioma (affecting the lining of the lungs), pleurodesis might be performed in some cases of peritoneal mesothelioma to manage fluid buildup. It involves the introduction of substances into the abdominal cavity to prevent the accumulation of fluid.
  3. Surgical bypass or stent placement: For cases where the mesothelioma causes a blockage in the digestive tract, surgeries such as bypass or stent placement can be done to alleviate obstruction and help restore normal bowel function.
  4. Pain management procedures: Surgery can also be used to address pain caused by the tumor’s effect on nearby nerves or organs.

It’s crucial to note that while palliative surgeries aim to improve the patient’s comfort and quality of life, they do not target the complete removal of the cancer. Patients undergoing palliative surgery may also receive additional palliative care such as pain management, nutritional support, and emotional support to enhance their overall well-being.

Before considering any surgical intervention, individuals diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma should discuss the potential benefits, risks, and available options with their healthcare team, including oncologists, surgeons, and palliative care specialists, to make informed decisions based on their specific situation and preferences.

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