The type of mesothelioma you have and its stage of development determine whether surgery is necessary. Mesothelioma tumors tend to be difficult to separate completely from other tissue, so surgery is often used along with radiation and chemotherapy to obtain optimal results.

Two Approaches To Mesothelioma Surgery

There are two general approaches to surgery for mesothelioma cases: those that are potentially curative and those that are palliative in nature, seeking mainly to obtain relief or improve function.

Potentially curative options seek to remove all disease surgically. Afterward, residual microscopic disease cells are collected and removed using adjuvant therapy. These surgeries are conducted multimodally in tandem with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

A pleurectomy/decortication is an invasive procedure in which the pleura — the sheath lining the lungs and chest cavity — is removed without removing the entire lung. This procedure is indicated primarily for patients in the early stages of the disease.

Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) involves the removal of massive amounts of tissue, including the pleura, diaphragm, pericardium and the whole diseased lung involved with the tumor. EPP is considered radical surgery and is not performed by most surgeons.

For a listing of mesothelioma specialists, treatment centers and support groups nationwide, consult

Palliative procedures do not seek to eliminate the cancer, but to make the disease more bearable. Chest tube drainage and pleurodesis is an approach that applies an irritant to the lung that prevents fluid buildup and allows drainage of existing fluid.

Another approach is the use of a pleuroperitoneal shunt, recommended for patients who could not benefit from pleurodesis, chemotherapy or radiation. Shunting has proven useful in alleviating discomfort in patients with a trapped lung or others who have failed treatment.

Note: These are abbreviated explanations of very complex surgical processes. To learn more about surgical options for mesothelioma, you should speak to your medical provider.

Talk To One Of Our Compassionate Lawyers Today

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with mesothelioma? We understand that medical treatment is your number-one concern. Nevertheless, knowing your legal rights can help protect you and your family. You may well be eligible for significant compensation.

For a free case evaluation, call the central Florida mesothelioma surgery lawyers of VanNess & VanNess at 352-436-4333, or toll free at 866-697-6221. Or write our attorneys a note describing your situation using this online form.