The mesothelioma tumor is often bulky and spread out which makes it difficult to remove completely. Most of the time surgery alone is not considered as a treatment option, although in some cases it may be used to relieve symptoms.
There are several types of surgery for mesothelioma. There is no consensus among mesothelioma experts as to which surgical procedure is superior to the others. The extent and type of the disease may help determine the type of surgical procedure used.
A pleurectomy is the removal of part of the chest or abdominal lining and some of the tissue around it. The goal is to remove as much of the tumor as possible while preserving underlying lung tissue. In most cases, this procedure is to relieve pleural effusion and discomfort.
Depending on the extent of the cancer, a lung may be removed in an operation called a pneumonectomy.
In an extrapleural pneumonectomy (pleuro-pneumonectomy), the lung is removed along with the lining and diaphragm (the muscle that helps you breathe) on the affected side.