Surgery for mesothelioma treatment is a valuable option for patients because it often improves results in mesothelioma survival. Penn Medicine's mesothelioma surgery program in Philadelphia is unique. Few surgeons have the same level of experience in caring for pleural mesothelioma patients as do the thoracic surgeons at Penn. As the cornerstone of their approach to care, Penn thoracic surgeons collaborate closely with their colleagues in radiation and medical oncology to develop individualized treatment plans for patients with mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma treatment plans depend largely upon the location and stage of the tumor as well as the patients' overall health. In all cases, Penn's specialists strive for the safest and least invasive treatment options to preserve quality of life.
Surgery for Mesothelioma Treatment at Penn
The following surgical treatments for mesothelioma are offered at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia:
Extrapleural Pneumonectomy for Mesothelioma
In this surgery, the surgeon removes the lung, pericardium (membrane covering the heart), part of the diaphragm (muscle between the lungs and abdomen), and part of the parietal pleura (membrane lining the chest) to treat malignant mesothelioma.
Indwelling Pleural Catheter (IPC) for Mesothelioma
Patients with recurrent pleural effusion are sometimes treated with an indwelling pleural catheter. The device, inserted into the pleural space by Penn surgeons, removes excess fluid from the chest cavity and relieves symptoms associated with pleural effusion while allowing patients to remain at home.
Lung-sparing Radical Pleurectomy or Peritonectomy for Mesothelioma
Patients with mesothelioma may undergo a pleurectomy (removal of the lining around the lungs) or peritonectomy (removal of the membrane that lines the cavity of the abdomen) to remove diseased tissue. Penn surgeons combine this procedure with photodynamic therapy and are achieving promising results.
Minimally Invasive – Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) for Mesothelioma
This minimally invasive technique diagnoses and treats problems in the chest including mesothelioma. A tiny camera called a thoracoscope and surgical instruments are inserted in the chest through small incisions, and the thoracoscope transmits images to a video monitor, guiding the surgeon in performing the procedure. VATS can be used to perform a biopsy, to remove tumors or remove an entire lobe from the lung.
Peritoneal Cytoreductive Surgery for Mesothelioma
In cytoreductive surgery, sometimes called "debulking" surgery, the surgeone removes as much of a tumor as possible. It is commonly combined with radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Pleural Sclerosis and Fibrinolytics for Mesothelioma
Pleural sclerosis is used to obliterate the pleural space in order to prevent the recurrence of a spontaneous pneumothorax or the reaccumulation of a pleural effusion. Many different agents, ranging from antibiotics to talc are used to eliminate the space in which air or fluid can accumulate.
Therapeutic Thoracentesis for Mesothelioma
This simple procedure drains the fluid and relieves the symptoms of pleural effusion. It may also be used as a diagnostic test to look for causes of a pleural effusion. During therapeutic thoracentesis, physicians insert a needle into the pleural space to remove the fluid, relieving the pressure on the lungs to make the patient's breathing easier.
Thoracotomy for Mesothelioma
In a thoracotomy, surgeons make an incision between the ribs on one side of the chest to remove all or part of a lung, avoiding the heart and spinal cord.
Other mesothelioma treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy are recommended to follow surgery or are prescribed in combination with surgery. These additional treatments for mesothelioma help ensure the cancer is removed as much as possible.
Need More Information on Mesothelioma Surgery?
Contact the Penn Mesothelioma program today. A Nurse/Patient Navigator can help you understand when surgery is appropriate for mesothelioma, as well as all the other available treatment options.
Contact a mesothelioma Nurse/Patient Navigator at Penn today. Call 215-662-9697