A careful evaluation of a patient’s medical history will take place before any type of mesothelioma surgery is performed. Since mesothelioma surgeries are often aggressive and multifaceted, not all patients are proper candidates for these procedures. During surgery, your doctor will work to remove the entire visible tumor without damaging vital organs that may have been infected, including the lungs and heart. Therefore, it is imperative that your doctor knows your pulmonary function and current overall health prior to surgery being approved. If a patient is approved for the surgery, then he or she will be admitted to a proper facility that treats cancer so that the treatment team can prepare for the procedure and properly manage all post surgery side effects effectively.
Surgery Side Effects for Mesothelioma Patients
Most all surgical procedures that involve an incision will cause a patient to experience some sort of pain and discomfort at the incision site. After mesothelioma surgery, some patients have pain at the incision site while resting, and also while performing daily activities. Such pain often is reported as a tingling or dull painful sensation. Since this is an extremely common surgical side effect, doctors will provide patients with a comprehensive pain management plan that includes the use of prescription pain medications or over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications.
Another common surgery side effect for mesothelioma patients is fluid accumulation and inflammation at the incision site. Like most other surgeries that involve the use of a needle or knife, patients who undergo mesothelioma surgery typically see common minor bruising, draining, and swelling of the injured tissues, which will resolve on their own without interference in a few days or weeks. However, any excessive foul-smelling drainage or inflammation needs to be brought to the attention of medical professional right away in order to help prevent any infection from becoming fatal.
Other Surgery Side Effects
The incision site may experience some minor bleeding post-operation. Any minor blood loss will be regenerated by a patient’s body. Patients will be shown how to care for and manage any bleeding, including keeping the area clean, applying dry dressings,, and alerting their doctor about any bleeding that seems to be excessive. Excessive bleeding is not normal and should be brought to the attention of medical professionals immediately.
Mesothelioma surgeries are major operations, which means a patient’s body will most certainly require proper rest in order to have the optimum ability to assist in healing. Invasive procedures leave the body feeling fatigued, and this overall feeling of tiredness can increase if a patient does not get proper nutrition or enough rest to restore energy levels to their recovering body.
As with any chest surgery, cardiac complications may arise after mesothelioma surgery. Such complications include the potential for heart attacks or inflammation and compression of the heart from a fluid buildup. It is very rare for a cardiac arrest to occur after mesothelioma surgery. However, if a heart attack does occur within 10 days after surgery, then patients may also require an emergency thoracotomy to surgically repair their altered heart.