Mesothelioma surgery can have one of two goals: to remove as much of the cancer as possible or to remove a portion of the cancer to improve a patient’s quality of life. Surgery is almost always recommended for patients whose tumors have not yet started to spread outside of their original locations, but can be evaluated on a case-by-case basis for patients with later stages of mesothelioma.
The experts at Moffitt Cancer Center’s Mesothelioma Research and Treatment Center assess a number of individual factors, such as the size, stage and location of a tumor, to determine the most appropriate options for each patient. Procedures a mesothelioma surgeon may perform include:
- An extrapleural pneumonectomy – This pleural mesothelioma surgery involves the removal of an entire lung and its lining, several nearby lymph nodes and part of the diaphragm and pericardium (the membrane that surrounds the heart).
- A pleurectomy/decortication – This pleural mesothelioma procedure involves the removal of part of a lung and its lining, as well as the entire visible tumor.
- A pleurodesis – This surgery is not used to remove a tumor, but rather to drain fluid that has accumulated around the lungs as a result of pleural mesothelioma.
In many cases, surgery is just one of several treatments that will be recommended for a patient. For instance, peritoneal mesothelioma debulking surgery can result in excellent outcomes when combined with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy. Pleural mesothelioma surgeries are also typically more effective when followed by radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy or other similar treatment options.
Meet with mesothelioma surgeons at Moffitt
At Moffitt Cancer Center, all treatments are available in a single, convenient location. Furthermore, they are administered by oncologists who specialize exclusively in the treatment of mesothelioma – a specialization that allows us to consistently achieve successful outcomes. While a mesothelioma surgeon at other cancer centers may never perform a single mesothelioma surgery during their entire careers, the surgeons at Moffitt are highly experienced with mesothelioma procedures, as well as some of the most innovative approaches, including minimally invasive and robotic-assisted options.