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Pleurectomy vs. Pneumonectomy

There is a long-going debate on which of the treatments is better for people with pleural mesothelioma; Pleurectomy or Pneumonectomy? Often the patients undergo surgical treatments to get rid of the cancer growth in the chest cavity. In pleurectomy, only the infected lining of the lung is removed. It gives more space for the lung to expand and breathe with ease. Whereas, the entire infected lung along with some parts of the cancer-affected diaphragm, pleura, and lymph nodes are removed in pneumonectomy. Before conducting any of those, every patient is tested thoroughly if cancer has spread to other organs not. If it has extended to other areas or organs then neither pleurectomy nor pneumonectomy could do much to eradicate cancer totally.
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Benefits of Pleurectomy

Pleurectomy treatment was developed by Dr. Robert Cameron. According to him, it is a better cancer treatment as it spares the lung and offers lower mortality rates. However, sometimes one may need to remove a part of the lung, but not the entire lung. He also mentioned that it helps the patient to have a better quality of life after the surgery.

Benefits of Pneumonectomy

Dr. David Sugarbaker developed the Pneumonectomy surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in which the entire cancerous lung is removed along with all the parts that show cancer growth. Over years, the survival rates have progressively increased.

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Contrast Between The Two

There have been several studies conducted on the effects of both the procedures. In a study [1] conducted in 2008, it is seen that people who underwent P/D surgery lived longer that those who endured extrapleural pneumonectomy. However, there could be several factors behind this conclusion. In pneumonectomy, along with the lung maximum of the cancer growth is also removed which increases the survival rates slightly as compared to pleurectomy.

Pleurectomy got a lower mortality rate of 4% whereas Pneumonectomy got 9%. However, some the surgeons have achieved better mortality rates as compared to P/D. One-third of people with EPP, face the return of cancer in later life while the count for pleurectomy is two-third.

In early stage when the cancer is localized, Pleurectomy works effectively to remove it while saving the lung. But, if it has spread to the lung, then pneumonectomy is the best recommended treatment. After the removal of the infected lung, the heart, and the remaining lung take over the entire respiratory system.

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Which Is the Better Surgical Treatment?

At the end of the discussion, only the surgeon or mesothelioma specialist can guide the patients towards the right and appropriate surgery based on his health, medical needs, diagnosis, and complications.

For any surgical treatment, the patient must be in overall healthy so that he endure the procedure and also recover from it. Prior to it, the doctor examines and considers the size, location, and spread of the tumor. If it is restricted, then pleurectomy would suffice but if stretched to the lung the pneumonectomy becomes obligatory to purge as much cancer as possible. Considering all these factors and not on personal preference, the doctor would recommend the best treatment for patients’ condition and needs. Anyhow, the patient is going to enjoy an extended life.

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