The most common surgical procedure for peritoneal mesothelioma patients is called peritonectomy. The main purpose of this mesothelioma surgery is to extract the cancerous portion of the lining of the abdominal cavity.
A peritonectomy may reveal multiple sites within the abdomen that are infected with cancerous growths. When this happens, another procedure called cytoreductive surgery is performed to remove cancerous growths in organs such as the stomach, liver, spleen, gall bladder and bowels.
Abdominal pain and loss of appetite often are alleviated by undergoing a peritonectomy procedure and cytoreductive surgery. Cytoreductive surgery and chemotherapy can be used together to kill a maximum amount of cancerous cells and to prolong a patient’s life span.
The Peritonectomy Procedure
Since the surgery often is considerably lengthy, roughly around 10 to 12 hours, patients will be admitted to the hospital the day before surgery. All preparatory procedures and testing will take place the day before surgery. Most patients will have up to a 14-day hospital stay after the procedure. During this time, chemotherapy also may be administered to combat cancerous cells.
Any cancer cells left behind after surgery will be targeted by a heated chemotherapy regime. The chemotherapy will be directly administered into the abdominal cavity. After a patient leaves the hospital, they can expect to continue recovering at home for up to three weeks. This home recovery period will depend on the recovery of the digestive period. During the weeks that follow the surgery, all vitamins, medications, fluids, and foods will be administered intravenously through a tube that is connected to a nastrogastic tube that goes from a patient’s nose to their stomach.
Prognosis After Your Peritonectomy Surgery
Doctors and mesothelioma experts continually utilize peritonectomy and cytoreductive surgery to obtain the most aggressive treatments options and success in treating peritoneal mesothelioma. Cancerous cells that are invisible to the naked eye during surgery then are treated with chemotherapy, which penetrates the remaining hidden cells. During the cytoreductive surgery, surgeons perform the procedure with eletrosurgery rather than relying on scapels and other tools used in more traditional surgeries. To determine whether all the cancerous cells have been removed, a Cytoreduction Score will be assigned to evaluate the amount any potential remaining cancerous tissue. The score will indicate if further removal is necessary. The scores are ranked between zero and four.
To maximize peritoneal mesothelioma patients’ lifespans, a combination of chemotherapy and cytoreductive surgery is utilized by doctors to achieve the desired results.
When this combination of treatment is followed by patients, the average survival rate after surgery can reach up to three years; in some cases up to seven years. Typical mesothelioma patients receive a prognosis of one year or less. Proper treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma can help to ensure that you can become a survivor and add several additional years to your life. A personalized plan of treatment, which should include cytoreductive surgery and chemotherapy, should be discussed with your doctor and mesothelioma specialist.