Mesothelioma is one condition nobody wishes to have. However, when diagnosed some important decisions need to be made, and some procedures need to be carried out. One such is surgery.
By means of explanation, mesothelioma, is a rare form of cancer that affects the mesothelium (surface lining of organs) resulting in cancer cells. Mesothelioma is known to result principally from exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring silicate minerals that are renowned for their fire resistance and flexibility. They were used to produce a variety of products such as roofing materials, cements and even fabric. When these asbestos fibres get inhaled or ingested, they cause a physical degradation to the cells and thereby alter the DNA structure and bring about the production of cancer cells.
When diagnosed with mesothelioma, a number of treatment options are available. Some of the traditional approaches are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Recently, some experimental approaches such as gene therapy, immunotherapy, and photodynamic therapy are also being considered.
Surgery is one of the first procedures to consider when diagnosed of mesothelioma. The aim of surgery is to reduce or terminate the growth of the tumor (cancer cells), by physically removing the cells from the affected areas. Surgery can be a very effective treatment for mesothelioma, especially if the tumor has not metastasized (spread to distant body parts). It can go a long way to considerably reduce the growth of the cancer cells and enhance the quick recovery of the patient. However, as advantageous as surgery can be, it can also come with a number of side effects.
Major Side-Effects of Mesothelioma Surgery
Surgery side effects may take place during or after the surgery. Generally, the side effects go away shortly after the surgery, but some may stay longer. The side effects resulting from surgery depend on a number of factors such as:
- The person’s age (older people tend to feel more side effects),
- General state of health of the person (people with other infections, have more side effects).
- The type of surgery (pleurectomy and decortication tends to show less side effects, compared with extrapleural pneumonectomy).
Some of the common side effects of surgery are as follows:
- Bleeding: This occurs when a ruptured blood vessel has not properly healed after surgery. This may be due to the patient’s blood-clotting disorder. If this persists, there may be need to re-operate on the patient to manually fix the problem.
- Pain: This is a normal occurrence. It can be helped by pain relieving drugs. However, if the pain persists, you need to return to your doctor for medical advice.
- Vomiting and Nausea: This are side effects of the anesthetic utilized during the surgery. It is usually temporary and naturally goes away soon after the mesothelioma surgery.
Other side effects include: Infections of the wound, lung problems, heart problems, gastro-intestinal problems, all of which should go away after a few days. However, if the symptoms persist, please consult your doctor for assistance.
Surgery comes with side effects that naturally leave with time. If symptoms persists, seek medical help.