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Pericardiectomy for Mesothelioma

Pericardiectomy is a surgery of removing the outer lining of the heart to treat several pericardium diseases. It helps people suffering from chest pain, fatigue, breathing difficulty, and heart palpitations. It also reduces inflammation of the pericardium and pericardial effusions. Such conditions need to be treated early so that they don’t develop some fatal complications. Pericardial effusion, if not treated on time could create immense pressure on your heart, compressing it. It is called cardiac tamponade.
Pericardiectomy is of two types; partial and total. In partial pericardiectomy, only cancer affected area of the heart lining is removed. While in total pericardiectomy, the maximum of the heart lining is removed. It can help people with primary malignant pericardial mesothelioma by alleviating their symptoms and increasing their life expectancy. The day before the surgery, the patients are not allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight. The doctor conducts several tests like the chest x-ray, ECG, blood tests, echocardiogram, MRI to assess the lung and heart’s functioning. It is also important that the patient is healthy enough to sustain the procedure and recover well.
In this procedure, the patients are generally placed under general anesthesia. The effect of the anesthesia lasts for several hours. An incision is made between the ribs. Then the ribs are spread allowing the surgeon to access the heart. Then the doctor removes all the cancer growth as well as any accumulated fluid. Finally, the surgeon stitches and close the incision. Generally, the patient needs to stay for a couple of weeks in the hospital for post-operative care. During this stay, a patient may experience fever, pain, swelling or foul-smelling drainage from the incision which may lengthen the patient’s hospital stay.
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How Does Pericardiectomy Help People with Mesothelioma?

Expected Cost of Pericardiectomy

A pericardiectomy can assuage the symptoms of pericardial effusion or improve the prospects. It depends on the progression of the patient’s mesothelioma. If pericardial mesothelioma is in the advanced stage, then pericardiectomy can hardly extend the patient’s life. It can only alleviate the symptoms of mesothelioma. Generally, patients live for another eight months after the surgery. However, in the early stages when mesothelioma is localized, pericardiectomy would offer better outcomes. When followed by a chemotherapy regime, it can even put cancer into remission. A patient can easily live free of cancer at a three-year follow-up.

Each and every hospital facility has their own fee structure. How the procedure turns out (if there are any complications afterward) decides the cost of the treatment. You must consult the cost with your doctor and try to lower it. Do include the other additions fees and charges that would go with it. It is all those unseen amounts that can make the bill so hefty.  Make sure you have medical insurance! Check the costs with your doctor and negotiate prices. A lot of people don’t understand that it is okay to ask to lower the costs! If you need help with paying for treatment, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact a mesothelioma law firm to help you financially. Know your options!

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Stats & Side Effects of Pericardiectomy

Like any other major surgery, pericardiectomy comes with its own share of complications. It is not recommended at all for elder patients or those with certain medical conditions are at a bigger threat. During the procedure, there could be some serious complications like excessive bleeding, blocked vessel, and even death. Some need to go through cardiopulmonary bypass and blood transfusion. However, there are instances when many people suffering from repeated pericardial effusions underwent pericardiectomy along with a chemotherapy session. Years later, they are living a cancer-free life with no symptoms. Young patients with good health have better survival rates that the elder patients with some medical conditions.

e big change!

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Show Sources


  1. http://www.revespcardiol.org/en/outcome-of-pericardiectomy-for-chronic/articulo/13114138/
  2. https://www.northwell.edu/find-care/services-we-offer/pericardiectomy
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0023197/
  4. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=135&contentid=360
Last Modified: Apr 14, 2017 @ 12:05 am

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