Surgical procedures for pleural mesothelioma include:
- Removing the lining inside your chest and over your lung (pleurectomy/decortication) on the side of your cancer. Sometimes surgeons also need to remove and reconstruct the lining around the heart, diaphragm (breathing muscle below your lungs) or both. Typically people who have this surgery also have other forms of treatment, like chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
- Removing your entire lung with the lining inside your chest wall, the diaphragm and the lining around the heart on the side of your cancer (extrapleural pneumonectomy). Most people have other treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation therapy, along with this surgery.
- Making a small incision to place medicine inside your chest through a tube (VATS pleurodesis). This is done to adhere your lung to the inside of your chest wall so fluid cannot build up in your chest and make it hard for you to breathe.
- Making a small incision to put a tube in the space around your lung (VATS indwelling catheter placement). If fluid inside your chest makes breathing difficult, you can drain the fluid through the tube without having to go to the doctor's office.
Even if your tumor has spread too far to hope to remove it completely with surgery, your team might recommend surgery to relieve your symptoms (palliative surgery).