Pleurectomy/Decortication for Mesothelioma

A pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) is a two-part surgery that is used to treat pleural mesothelioma. The first step in the operation is a standard pleurectomy, in which a surgeon removes the pleura, or membrane surrounding the lungs. The second step is a decortication, during which a surgeon removes visible tumors from the chest cavity.

For certain patients, a pleurectomy/decortication can be a lung-sparing alternative to a more extensive form of mesothelioma surgery, such as the extrapleural pneumonectomy. Patients who are good candidates for a P/D may have shorter recovery periods than patients who undergo more complex operations, although both types of procedures can have positive outcomes in terms of survival and quality of life. This is especially true when patients receive treatment from experienced and highly specialized surgeons, such as those at Moffitt Cancer Center.

To determine the best surgical approach for each patient, Moffitt’s surgical oncologists assess a wide range of factors, such as:

  • The size of a tumor
  • How far a tumor has spread throughout the chest cavity
  • A patient’s current respiratory capacity and overall health
  • The type of cells that make up a tumor
  • A cancer’s numerical stage

Patients can consult with our team to discuss all of their options, including both surgical and nonsurgical treatments. Because a combination of therapies is often the most effective approach, our surgeons work closely with our medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and supportive care providers to coordinate each patient’s treatment.

To learn more about the pleurectomy/decortication process or the unparalleled surgical expertise of our team, call 1-888-MOFFITT or submit a new patient registration form online. We welcome patients with and without physician referrals.