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Understanding mesothelioma surgical options in Ohio


Will you eventually need surgery to treat your mesothelioma? Learn which medical options to discuss with your Ohio doctor and legal advocate.

Your recent mesothelioma diagnosis shook you to your core. You plan on doing everything your Ohio physician and medical care team suggest to remain healthy, but maybe you want to explore your options for surgery should the need ever arise. Besides exploring your legal rights regarding on-the-job mesothelioma exposure, also look into your medical rights while continuing to build your case. Future medical costs impact your final settlement amount.

Surgical options

Mesothelioma patients have two surgical options: palliative surgery and potentially curative surgery. The palliative surgery aims to help those who experience pain and other symptoms associated with tumors caused by mesothelioma. With the potentially curative surgery, the surgeon aims to remove all the cancer. The cancer may return after the surgery because cancer cells remain in the body. This is why the surgery is only potentially curative; the patient may live longer, but there are no guarantees.

One major surgery is an extrapleural pneumonectomy, where a surgeon removes the cancerous lung along with breathing muscle and pleura on the cancerous lung’s chest wall. If you ever consider this surgery, only the most experienced and well-regarded medical professional should handle your procedure. Also, you must be in good physical health and not have any serious physical illnesses to qualify for this option.

A less-extensive procedure is a pleurectomy/decortication. Curing the cancer is the surgery’s goal, but surgeons also suggest it for relieving symptoms in instances where they cannot remove the tumor entirely. For instance, the patient may have trouble breathing or fluid buildup.

Sometimes, mesothelioma manifests on the sac around the heart, which is “pericardial mesothelioma.” Surgeons can remove the cancer from around the organ, but they may have to remove the entire sac to decrease overall pressure on the heart. Another medical option is making a small hole in the sac, known as a pericardial window, to administer chemo around the heart.

Surgical side effects

Your health and the extent of the surgery have the biggest impact on the procedure’s side effects. Serious effects include wound infections, bleeding, pneumonia, fluid build-up and loss of lung function. Often, less-invasive surgical options do not come with these serious side effects.

Depending on the procedure, the surgeon may spread your ribs around during the surgery to gain access to your lungs. In such cases, you may experience soreness at the incision site during your recovery.

While it may be too early to decide which surgical option may be the most beneficial to you, it is not too early to discuss current procedures and surgical technology with your Ohio doctor. Share what you learn with your legal advocate to see whether it affects your case.

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