Some patients with pleural mesothelioma may decide to undergo an aggressive treatment option called pleurectomy decortication surgery. One of this surgery’s top advantages is that it doesn’t require a patient to have a lung removed. The surgery is successful at sparing the lungs because of the two separate parts that make up the procedure.
The first part of the procedure removes the lining surrounding one lung. After such removal, any tumor masses found inside the chest cavity are carefully eliminated. This two-part surgery most often is performed on patients who are still in the early stages of pleural mesothelioma and are in good overall health. If a patient is eligible for the surgery, then their lifespan can increase. Chemotherapy and radiation, as part of a multimodal approach to treatment, also hold the most effective option for patients in treating the disease.
Procedure for a Pleurectomy Decortication
The first and main part of the surgery is called pleurectomy. In this part of the procedure, the chest cavity is opened and the pleural lining is removed. The surgeon will perform a thoracotomy, which is an incision that will provide the most exposure of the chest cavity. One inside, the surgeon will remove the outside layer of the pleural lining, known as the parietal pleura. In this first part of the procedure, certain parts of the heart sac, cheat wall lining, and diaphragm lining may also be removed. However, advantages to this procedure is that surgeons are able to leave the lung itself enact.
The second part of the surgery is called decortication. This involves the extraction of any visible tumors that may have grown in a patient’s chest area. The surgeon also has the option to scrape the lungs to remove all possible cancer growths.
What to Expect After a Pleurectomy Decortication
Patients can expect to be monitored after surgery for up to a week in the hospital. In the first few days after surgery, patients may continue to lose minor amounts of blood from the incision area, so patients will continue with proper post-operation care by medical professionals in order to prevent infections. After discharge, patients will continue to recover for a few more weeks. For those patients who continue to suffer from symptoms during home recovery, pulmonary rehabilitation treatment can be an effective option to lessen symptoms and assist with breathing.
To have the optimum survival rate and a prolonged life span, patients will be encouraged to undergo a multimodal approach. After surgery, any remaining cancerous cells that were left behind can be aggressively combated by chemotherapy and radiation.
P/D surgery has become the standard treatment for patients whose mesothelioma cancer is in the early stages. The complications are minimal and over 90 percent of patients who have undergone the procedure have a lessening of symptoms, which improves their quality of life.