There are several surgical procedures that are used to treat mesothelioma.
Thoracentesis, Paracentesis, Pericardiocentesis
The most common is a procedure called "thoracentesis". A thoracentesis is used to remove excess fluid from the lining around the lungs. Usually a needle is inserted and the fluid is drawn off. The purpose of this procedure is to relieve the pain and shortness of breath that this excess fluid causes. Some mesothelioma patients will require this procedure several times. If the cancer is in the lining of the stomach, this procedure is called a "paracentesis" and, in the lining of the heart, a "pericardiocentesis".
Another common procedure is called a "pleurodesis". In a pleurodesis, talc or some other substance is injected into the lining of the lungs. This prevents further fluid buildup.
Pleurectomy, Thoracotomy, Pneumonectomy
More radical surgical procedures are a "pleurectomy" (removal of the lining of the lung), a "thoracotomy" (removal of a portion of the lung), a pneumonectomy" (removal of one of the lungs), and an "extrapleural pneumonectomy" (removal of the lining and one of the lungs).
It is not unusual that chemotherapy and radiation treatments are used to complement the more radical surgical procedures.
If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about mesothelioma treatment options, complete the form below to request a free mesothelioma book of answers or contact us to speak with a medical specialist who can discuss your options and make a referral to a qualified physician.