Surgical Treatment Options For Mesothelioma Patients

Surgical Treatment Options For Mesothelioma Patients

Surgical Treatment - Diagnosing mesothelioma in its early stages is crucial in the effectiveness of surgery. The surgical process for mesothelioma is the physical removal of the malignant tumor. If you are diagnosed before the cancer has a chance to radically spread, surgery is an excellent option. This is often a curative procedure if the malignant mesothelioma tumor is small and localized.

Before you decide to move forward with surgery, you can expect meticulous evaluations to be completed. Likely these evaluations will include:

  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Severity of asbestos exposure
  • Smoking history
  • Determination of presence of plaques or pleural thickenings
  • Cardiac assessment (may include evaluation for congestive heart failure, hypertension, coronary artery disease, and cardiac rhythm status.
  • Standard vitals

It’s important to keep in mind the selection of the surgery will depend upon the stage of mesothelioma and your operating surgeon's medical preferences.

Common Surgical Options For Pleural Mesothelioma:


Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) entails removal of the pleura, diaphragm, pericardium and the entire lung on the side of the cancerous tumor. The intention is to remove all or most of the cancer and some surrounding tissues as well. This is a more extensive procedure and may remove additional bulk compared to less extensive pleurectomy.


Pleurectomy includes the removal of the pleura, where the cancerous/ malignant mesothelioma tumor has developed, along the inner chest wall. Primarily used to control effusions and reduce pain.

Common Surgical Treatments For Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Typically the treatment for Peritoneal Mesothelioma is a hybrid approach. Numerous medical professionals find that a combination of chemotherapy and surgery is far more effective than just or the other alone.

Surgery normally involves the removal of the cancerous regions of the peritoneum, and is likely followed up with intravenous or intraperitoneal chemotherapy (where drugs delivered through a vein or directly to the peritoneal cavity) to eliminate remaining cancer cells that weren’t able to be removed during surgery.

Common Surgical Treatments For Pericardial Mesothelioma


Pericardiectomy is an operation in which a part or most of the pericardium is removed. The pericardium is a double walled layer of tissue surrounding the heart and the origins of many important blood vessels. Not only is the pericardium removed for cancer cell elimination, it is also removed because it can grow too thick and compress the heart, not allowing healthy functionality.

Furthermore, fluid can be drained from the pericardium to attain an elevated level of patient comfort. Radiation therapies aren’t utilized as often to treat this kind of mesothelioma due to the elevated risk of damaging vital organs in the area. Dissimilar to pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma doesn’t react to any existing chemotherapy treatments.

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