If your cancer has not yet metastasized, and an experienced surgeon manages to remove all visible signs of the disease, you can potentially live for several years after mesothelioma surgery. This approach to treatment is particularly effective if it is part of a multi-modal treatment strategy that includes radiation and chemotherapy.
There are three main categories of mesothelioma surgery:
- Potentially curative – Major surgery that can produce a life-changing outcome.
- Palliative – Surgery performed with the goal of easing your pain and symptoms, and restoring some of your quality of life.
- Diagnostic – A basic procedure that is designed to provide both the doctor and the patient with a better idea of the extent of the disease.
There are two kinds of potentially curative surgeries for pleural mesothelioma: extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and pleurectomy/decortication (P/D). Medical professionals are currently debating which surgical procedure is better. Both EPP and P/D are usually considered when mesothelioma is diagnosed at an early stage.
EPP involves removing an entire lung, including the lining around it, parts of the diaphragm, parts of the pericardium, and the nearby lymph nodes. In theory, this offers the best chance of removing all traces of cancer.
P/D leaves the lung intact, but removes the pleura lining surrounding the lungs, and all visible tumors on the lung and chest wall. This procedure can have equally effective results when compared to EPP, but is more complicated to perform, and takes longer to complete.
A third surgery is used for peritoneal surgery: cytoreductive surgery (also called “debulking” surgery). This procedure involves removing as much of the cancer as possible from inside the abdominal cavity. Similar to P/D, this is a detailed procedure that can take many hours to complete.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, make sure you understand your rights and have access to the best treatment available. Contact The Law Office of Brown | Kiely, LLP today or call (410) 625-9330 to schedule a free case evaluation with our experienced Maryland asbestos attorney. We can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.