There are a couple mesothelioma surgery options available to many who are afflicted with the cancer. There’s a helpful mesothelioma surgery article on Asbestos.com that does a good job of explaining the difference between the two procedures.
Culled from an article that originally appeared in the New York Daily News, Dr. Raja Flores delineates the two procedures available for patients with pleural mesothelioma. The two surgical options are a pneumonectomy, which involves removal of the lung with mesothelioma in it, and a pleurectomy (or decortications), which does not.
The goal of most surgeries is to provide the patient with the best possible outcome. Pneumonectomies are more drastic than pleurectomies, but opting for one over the other depends on a host of factors beyond simple invasiveness. The location, size, and mass of the tumors all play into a surgeon’s decision to go with one selection over another. Oftentimes, according to Dr. Flores, a surgeon might not even know which route he chooses to take until surgery is already underway. That’s because seeing the patient’s condition in-person often provides clues as to the state of the lungs that imaging scans or tests, such as a CT scan, may not provide.
Overall, most doctors want a surgery to be successful. In the case of surgeries as a treatment option of mesothelioma, a successful surgery might mean an increased quality of life for the patient or a longer life expectancy.
Whatever the outcome may be, surgery can be an invasive and potentially risky procedure. These facts may factor into why it’s not a universally lauded option when it comes to mesothelioma treatment. Indeed, some doctors tend to favor options other than surgery as a best option for treatment. As with many things regarding this disease, there is no consensus on the best route to take.