Surgery for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

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Peritoneal mesothelioma is much less common than pleural, but there are still several types of surgery to treat it or relieve symptoms. In addition to chemotherapy or radiation in multimodal therapies, peritoneal mesothelioma surgery may also be followed by hyperthermic peritoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) – a warm chemotherapy wash that kills cancer cells in the abdominal cavity.

Peritonectomy (Curative)

The lining of the abdomen (peritoneum) is where peritoneal mesothelioma first develops. A peritonectomy removes this lining in an attempt to remove all of the cancerous tissue from the body. Studies have shown this treatment, combined with HIPEC, to have one of the highest success rates of all mesothelioma surgeries.

Cytoreduction/Debulking (Curative)

The abdomen contains a lot of organs, and in many cases mesothelioma can spread to various abdominal organs relatively easily. Cytoreductive surgery attempts to remove all visible tumors. It is intensive surgery, usually taking as long as 10 – 12 hours, and often includes a HIPEC wash.

Paracentesis (Palliative)

When there is fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity (peritoneal effusion), a paracentesis can be performed to remove the fluid and provide comfort to peritoneal mesothelioma patients.

Surgery for Pericardial Mesothelioma

Unfortunately, most cases of pericardial mesothelioma are not discovered until after the patient has already passed away. However, in those cases where a patient is diagnosed in enough time, there are some surgical options available.

Pericardiectomy (Curative)

Pericardial mesothelioma develops in the pericardium (lining of the heart). In this surgery, the pericardium is removed in an effort to eradicate the cancer. Typically, the pericardium will be replaced with surgical Gore-Tex, so that the heart will continue to pump smoothly.

Pericardiocentesis (Palliative)

If fluid accumulates in the heart cavity (pericardial effusion), it can put pressure on the heart, affecting the rhythm and blood pressure. A pericardiocentesis relieves that pressure by draining fluid from the pericardial space.

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