Surgery is commonly used in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. The doctor may remove part of the lining of the chest or abdomen and some of the tissue around it. Sometimes part of the diaphragm, the muscle below the lungs that helps with breathing, is also removed. Depending on how far the cancer has spread, a lung also may be removed (pneumonectomy). The following are some of the most commonly used surgical treatments of mesothelioma:
Pleurodesis is a treatment administered through a thoracoscopy or existing chest tube. Pleurodesis creates inflammation effectively eliminating the pleural space. The elimination of this space then inhibits the accumulation of a pleural effusion. Generally used when the pleural effusion is symptomatic. Talc is used most commonly and effectively for this procedure, thus it is often referred to as "talcing" or as a patient having been "talced."
Surgery to remove part of the chest (pleura) or abdomen lining (peritoneum) and some of the tissue surrounding it. This procedure is performed for a variety of disorders including pleural effusion, malignant pleural mesothelioma, and trauma.
Surgery to remove part of the chest (pleura) or abdomen lining (peritoneum) and as much for the tumor mass as possible. This procedure may be performed to reduce pain caused by the tumor mass or to prevent the recurrence of pleural effusion. For peritoneal mesothelioma, surgery is generally aimed at relieving symptoms, such as recurrent ascites or bowel obstruction. As with pleural mesothelioma, complete surgical removal of the entire tumor is unlikely.
Surgery to remove a lung.
Extrapleural pneumonectomy (or EPP)
Surgery to remove the pleura, diaphragm, pericardium, and entire lung involved with the tumor.