Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide

The Importance of Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you likely have many questions about treatment options. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. It is typically caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in construction and manufacturing until the 1970s.

One of the most effective treatment options for mesothelioma is surgery. However, traditional mesothelioma surgery often involves removing an entire lung, which can have significant side effects and reduce a patient’s quality of life. Lung-sparing mesothelioma surgery, on the other hand, aims to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible while preserving the patient’s lung function. This procedure has become increasingly common in recent years and offers many benefits for mesothelioma patients.

The Benefits of Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery

There are several key benefits to lung-sparing mesothelioma surgery, including:

Benefit Description
Preservation of Lung Function Lung-sparing surgery reduces the risk of lung-related complications and allows patients to maintain better lung function after surgery.
Improved Quality of Life Patients who undergo lung-sparing surgery typically experience fewer side effects and a better quality of life than those who have a lung removed.
Reduced Risk of Recurrence Lung-sparing surgery is often more effective at removing all cancerous tissue, reducing the risk of recurrence.
Increased Survival Rates Studies have shown that lung-sparing surgery can improve survival rates for mesothelioma patients.

What is Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery?

Lung-sparing mesothelioma surgery is a procedure that aims to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible while preserving as much lung function as possible. This type of surgery may involve the removal of part of the lung, the removal of the lining around the lung, or both.

The specific type of lung-sparing surgery used will depend on the location and extent of the cancer, as well as the patient’s overall health and other factors.

Who is a Candidate for Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery?

Not all mesothelioma patients are candidates for lung-sparing surgery. Factors that may determine whether or not a patient is a good candidate for this procedure include the location and size of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, and the patient’s overall health and lung function.

It is important to work closely with a mesothelioma specialist to determine the best treatment options for your specific case.

How is Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery Performed?

The specific approach used for lung-sparing surgery will depend on the location and extent of the cancer. However, some common techniques include:

  • Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)
  • Pleurectomy with Decortication (P/D)
  • Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP)
  • Intrapleural Chemotherapy

During the surgery, the surgeon will make incisions in the chest and use specialized tools to remove the cancerous tissue. The goal is to remove as much of the cancer as possible while preserving lung function.

What are the Risks of Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with lung-sparing mesothelioma surgery. Some potential risks include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Lung Collapse
  • Air Leaks
  • Pain
  • Decreased Lung Function

However, these risks can often be minimized by working with an experienced mesothelioma surgeon and following all pre- and post-operative instructions carefully.

What is the Recovery Process Like After Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery?

The recovery process after lung-sparing mesothelioma surgery can vary depending on the specific procedure and the patient’s overall health. However, most patients will need to stay in the hospital for several days after the surgery and will require close monitoring during this time.

After leaving the hospital, patients will need to follow a strict recovery plan that may include physical therapy, breathing exercises, and other forms of rehabilitation. It is important to follow all instructions carefully and to seek medical attention if any complications arise.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery?

While lung-sparing mesothelioma surgery can be highly effective at treating the cancer, there may be some long-term effects that patients need to be aware of. For example, patients may experience chronic pain, shortness of breath, or reduced lung function after the surgery. However, many of these effects can be managed with proper care and treatment.

How Can I Find a Qualified Mesothelioma Surgeon?

When it comes to mesothelioma surgery, it is important to work with a highly qualified and experienced surgeon. To find a qualified mesothelioma surgeon, consider reaching out to a mesothelioma treatment center or advocacy organization. These organizations can often provide information and resources to help you find the right surgeon for your needs.

What Other Treatment Options Are Available for Mesothelioma?

Lung-sparing mesothelioma surgery is just one of several treatment options available for mesothelioma patients. Other options may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. The best course of treatment for your specific case will depend on a variety of factors, so it is important to work closely with a mesothelioma specialist to determine the best approach.


If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung-sparing mesothelioma surgery may be an effective treatment option to consider. This procedure offers many potential benefits, including preserving lung function and improving quality of life. However, it is important to work closely with an experienced mesothelioma surgeon to determine the best course of treatment for your specific case.

By taking the time to research and explore all of your options, you can make informed decisions and take steps to improve your health and well-being.


The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.