The recovery process following mesothelioma surgery can vary based on several factors, including the type of surgery performed, the patient’s overall health, and any additional treatments needed. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that primarily affects the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma), abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), heart (pericardial mesothelioma), or the testicles (testicular mesothelioma).
Surgery is one of the treatment options for mesothelioma and can involve different procedures:
- Pleurectomy/Decortication (P/D): This surgery aims to remove the pleural lining affected by mesothelioma while sparing the lungs. Recovery from this surgery typically involves a hospital stay of around 5 to 14 days, depending on the individual’s condition. Patients may experience pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath during the initial recovery period. Physical therapy and breathing exercises may be recommended to improve lung function.
- Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP): EPP involves removing the affected lung, the lining around the lung, parts of the diaphragm, and the lining of the heart if necessary. Recovery from EPP is more extensive and can take several weeks to months. Patients may spend 7 to 14 days in the hospital and may require more time for recovery at home. Physical therapy, breathing exercises, and rehabilitation are crucial to regain strength and function.
During the recovery process, patients may experience various side effects and complications, including pain, infection, fatigue, shortness of breath, and changes in lung function.
After surgery, patients often undergo additional treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or targeted therapy to target any remaining cancer cells. These treatments can affect recovery and may have their own side effects.
It’s essential for patients to follow their healthcare provider’s instructions carefully, attend follow-up appointments, and participate in rehabilitation programs to optimize recovery. A multidisciplinary approach involving oncologists, surgeons, nurses, physical therapists, and other specialists is crucial for comprehensive care and support during the recovery period.
Every individual’s recovery journey is unique, and it’s important to discuss any concerns or questions about the recovery process with the healthcare team managing the mesothelioma treatment.