Surgery for Malignant Mesothelioma

Surgery is the largest part of ordinary procedure being done to remove the cancer-stricken tissues from the affected area. Just like in the case of people with benign mesothelioma, there is a possibility that organs may be partially or completely removed, depending on the extent of damage done by cancer.

Surgery for Malignant Mesothelioma
Surgery for Malignant Mesothelioma

Palliative Surgery

Palliative surgery is recommended and done when the tumor has been transmitted past the mesothelium or when the tumor is extremely difficult to remove. The same would apply when the patient is too sick to endure the stress of a more extensive procedure.

We should be aware that Palliative Surgery is not designed to cure the patient but rather designed as a remedy to help control the symptoms of the disease. Some examples of palliative surgery include Pleurectomy/Decortication and Pneumonectomy.

Curative Surgery

Curative Surgery this type of surgery is normally done if the patient is in the good physical condition and the tumor has been found to be localized and can be easily and completely extracted. 

Unfortunately, we should remember that these cancer cells have the tendency to spread into the chest wall, all over the heart, nerves, diaphragm and; to add to that, the way it spreads is notoriously difficult to detect.

Due to this, the actual role of surgery is often being questioned. In conclusion, even though this type of surgery is performed with curative intent, there are no guarantees that it would completely eradicate mesothelioma. The same holds true for even those hugely evolved curative surgical procedures such as extrapleural pneumonectomy, which cannot cure mesothelioma.

Curative surgery, therefore, is being performed and has been proven to be effective in increasing a patient’s survival rate.


Pneumonectomy is a type of surgical procedure that can be utilized in treating patients suffering from Pleural Mesothelioma. The process entails the removal of the affected lung. An extra-Pleural Pneumonectomy may also be necessary depending on the extent of how wide the disease has spread. This procedure may include the removal of some parts of the diaphragm as well as the lung.
Pneumonectomy is usually an inappropriate procedure to use with mesothelioma patients and is mostly used for other kinds of lung cancer. It’s an extremely risky procedure and much of its success depends on the person’s overall health condition, lifestyle choices and habits such as smoking, and the extent of damage done by asbestos exposure.


Pleurectomy is another type of surgery that may be implemented together with the partial removal of the chest lining, abdominal lining and as well as the removal of its surrounding tissue. It’s a kind of palliative surgery the promises to reduce chest pain.
Pleurectomy also helps prevent the buildup of fluid in the affected area. Statistics would show however that there is no significant increase in survival rate could be expected through this procedure alone.

Pleurodesis is the term used to call the palliative procedure where something is placed inside the cavities between the chest and the lung to make both sides of the pleura stick together. With both sides of the pleura sticking together, there are lesser chances of fluid buildup that could impair normal breathing. This could also be done with talc or with an antibiotic.


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