Pericardiocentesis for Mesothelioma
When the tumor spreads to the lining of the lungs, abdomen, it is called pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma respectively. Similarly, it can spread to the lining of the heart and is known as pericardial mesothelioma. People with pleural or pericardial mesothelioma; do experience pericardial effusion which is a fluid upsurge in the lining of the pericardium. It causes severe chest pain, excruciating pressure on the heart, breathing problem and chronic coughing. Pericardial mesothelioma cannot be cured, but treatments like pericardiocentesis can at least alleviate the painful symptoms.
Pericardiocentesis is not a new-fangled procedure; it has roots back to the mid 18th century. Since then, doctors prefer this treatment for people suffering from pericardial effusion. It is also performed for certain diagnostic purposes. However, it cannot rule out pericardial mesothelioma as the cancerous cells are hardly found in that fluid. In this procedure, the patient is laid with his head raised at 30 to 40 degrees. Such surgery so close to the heart is very risky. Prior to the surgery, a catheter is positioned in the patient to run in the required medications and fluids. Local anesthesia is applied at the site of the insertion before introducing the needle so that the patient doesn’t feel the pain.
With the help of x-rays and an electrocardiogram, it is carefully placed into the adjoining tissues of the heart. To reduce the risk of poking the heart or any blood vessels, it is performed with an echocardiography to enhance visibility. The later process of replacing the needle with a catheter and draining out the liquid could take several hours. Do share all the information with your doctor like the medicines you take, what medicines you are allergic to if you have any medical history. It would help to prevent several complications.
How Does Pericardiocentesis Help People with Mesothelioma?
Expected Cost of Pericardiocentesis
Pericardial effusion, a symptom of mesothelioma cause extreme stress, pain and pressure that avert the heart to function properly. The treatment of pericardiocentesis aids to reduce the common outcomes of mesothelioma. It helps to stabilize the blood and oxygen circulation. It also reduces the risk of heart failure. However, it neither removes the tumors nor prevent re-accumulation of fluid in the pericardial space, but definitely improves the quality of life.
There are many factors that decide the cost of the treatment including your health, type of health insurance you got, results of the surgery as well as the post-surgery care you need. Don’t miss out the traveling and consultation fees. Don’t falter to confer and settle it down with your doctor or hospital management. 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!
Stats & Side Effects of Pericardiocentesis
People with uncontrolled diabetes, obesity, smoking habit, hypertension, bleeding issues, poorly functioning liver and kidney have a greater chance of surgical complications. During the procedure, the patient may experience infection, excessive bleeding, arrhythmias, clotting of blood in the pericardium. In some rare cases, an artery or organ can get accidentally punctured. It happens to 4 to 40% of the patients undergoing pericardiocentesis. However, with ultrasound it has become much safer now. Further, it improves the patient’s quality of life. At the end of the day, it is your doctor who would decide what is best for you.