What Patients Should Know About Mesothelioma Surgery

surgeon in surgery

While progress continues in mesothelioma treatments, a cure remains elusive. The diagnosis is still a devastating moment for patients, creating fear and uncertainty. Life as they have known it is forever changed.

Those raw emotions bring countless questions as to treatment options, with surgery being the most effective. Inevitably, inquiries arise from patients and family members regarding surgical procedures.

How Long Does The Surgery Take?

The length of time depends on the specific case and patient. Removing the pleura or lung can vary from person to person. Estimates include:

  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP): Two hours
  • Pleurectomy/decortication (P/D): Two to four hours
  • Cytoreduction with HIPEC: Eight to fourteen hours

How Long Will It Take To Recover?

Cancer centers are helpful resources when it comes to estimating recovery times, admittedly dependent on the individual.

  • EPP: Hospital stays can last for several days. From there, outpatient recovery can take up to eight weeks. The removal of the lung will require physical therapy to rehab the respiratory system.
  • P/D: Patients need approximately a week of post-surgical recovery. However, rehabilitation is on an outpatient basis can take up to four weeks.
  • Cytoreduction: Due to what is involved in the procedure, two weeks of hospitalization is needed combined with up to two months of recovery time.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer that often returns in patients, regardless of the surgery’s success. Follow-up appointments are paramount, starting with seeing a physician one or two weeks post-surgery. Scans and lab work should be performed every six to twelve months.