Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)

Lately, the use of video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) have turned out to be one of the most commonly used techniques in mesothelioma diagnosis. Here, mesothelioma patients are usually put under general anesthesia, and then several small ports are cut through the wall of the chest,in the case of pleural mesothelioma. Then a small camera, through a scope is inserted into one of the incision, and tissues specimens or samples are retrieved from other openings using other surgical instruments. In several cases, thoracotomy can be replaced by this video-assisted technique, which needs a much bigger port to get access to the chest cavity, and because of its minimal invasion, mesothelioma patients usually have less pain after the procedure and a short time to recover. Thoracotomy has been used in peritoneal mesothelioma.


For pleural mesothelioma the surgeon may need to view the inside of the chest cavity with an instrument known as a thoracoscope. An incision is made through the wall of the chest and the thoracoscope is inserted into the chest between two ribs. Treatment for mesothelioma patients are often times carried out in a hospital with simply a local anesthetic.

If there is accumulation of fluid in the chest, for pleural mesothelioma your doctor may have to drain the fluid by inserting a needle into the chest and gentle remove it using suction pressure. This is known as thoracentesis.


In the case of peritoneal mesothelioma, the surgeon may also need to look inside the abdomen with an instrument called a peritoneoscope. The peritoneoscope is inserted into an incision made in the abdomen. This test is often times done under a local anesthetic.

If there is peritoneal effusion, as usual in case of peritoneal mesothelioma, the surgeon may also need to drain the fluid, by inserting a needle into your abdomen and gently remove the fluid using suction pressure. This procedure is known as paracentesis.

Mesothelioma open lung biopsy

Open lung biopsy is a surgery performed to take a little tissue piece from the lung. The specimen is afterwards investigated for mesothelioma cancers, an infection or any other lung disease. This can also be called open lung surgery.

Reasons for performing this technique:

This open lung biopsy is performed or carried out to analyize pleural mesothelioma of the lungs viewed on x-ray or CT scan.

The test is carried out by what way:

Open lung biopsy is usually carried out by a mesothelioma doctor in an operation room under general anesthesia, this simply means free from pain and possibly asleep. Usually, a tube is passed through the mouth into the windpipe down into the lungs.

Afterward,the skin is cleaned, and the mesothelioma doctor makes an incision in the chest area, in order to remove a little piece of lung tissue. This little incision is then dressed and closed with stitches.

Also a chest tube might be inserted and left for around 1 to 2 days in order to guard against the callapsing of the lungs.

In preparing for test, patients should report to the mesothelioma doctor or health care provider in cases of pregnancy, allergy to certain medications, and any bleeding problem. Patients should report to the health care team the undergoing medications.

At times, you may be told not to eat or drink for about 8 to 12 hours prior to the procedure.

Often times, when patients wake up, they usually feel drowsy for so many hours. Mild sore throat may also be noticed as a result of the tube. Patients also feel certain discomfort and pain at the site of incision.

The risks involved are simply the possibility of infection or leakage of air into the chest. The risk anyway are based on if or not you have pleural mesothelioma.

A normal result in a pleural mesothelioma case, the lungs and tissue will be normal, that is free from mesothelioma cancers.

Abnormal results may show mesothelioma cancers, and some other infections.

Cytological mesothelioma diagnosis

If a large amount of fluid is present, abnormal cells can be found by cytology, by aspirating the fluid with a syringe. In cases of pleural fluid it is carried out by a pleural tap or chest drain, in peritoneal fluid, with an ascitic drain or paracentesis, and in a pericardial effusion with pericardiocentesis. Although, the absence of malignant mesothelioma cells in cytology does not totally rule out mesothelioma cancers, it even makes it more improbable, particularly when there can be an alternate diagnosis, such as tuberculosis, heart failure.

When cytology is comfirmed or a plaque is considered as suspicious, a biopsy is then further needed to confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis. A mesothelioma doctor extracts a specimen of tissue for investigation under a microscope by a pathologist. A biopsy can be carried out in various ways, based on the location of the abnormal area. If the mesothelioma cancers is located in the chest, the mesothelioma doctor can carry out a thoracoscopy. Using this technique, the mesothelioma doctor incises a little cut through the chest wall and passes a thin, tube known as a thoracoscope into the chest through two ribs. The thoracoscopy precedure helps the mesothelioma doctor to be able to view the inside of the chest and extract tissue specimens.

Cytology examines the pleural fluid for malignant cells. Some medical practitioners regards this option as limited in mesothelioma diagnosis, because uncomfirmatory examination account for about 85% of all fluid test. Even when there is a comfirmatory fluid report, most doctors will still carry out a confirmatory tissue biopsy in as much as does not negatively affect the patient's well being.

If it is mesothelioma cancers of the abdomen, the mesothelioma doctor can carry out a laparoscopy. To obtain tissue for examination, the doctor also incises a little cut in the abdomen and passes a specified instrument into the cavity of the abdominen.

Mesothelioma diagnosis of pleural effusion

Mesothelioma diagnosis of pleural effusion is often achieved using a simple chest x-ray, also CT scans or ultrasound can also be effective.

A special x-ray diagnosis, known as a lateral decubitus film, can be effective in detecting smaller effusions and to assist the mesothelioma doctor in calculating the amount of fluid.

If the main cause of the pleural effusion is already seen (an example, as in the condition of severe congestive heart failure), evaluation of the fluid may be unnecessary.

Nevertheless, because pleural effusion may a symptom of some other diseases ranging from benign to malignant, a fluid specimen is the usually done.

A diagnostic thoracentesis, whereby the cells are elimininated from the pleural cavity, is usually carried out on mesothelioma patients if there is the possibility of mesothelioma cancers.

Moreover, in around 85% of mesothelioma patients, the fluid have often times tested negative or uncomfirmatory despite the fact that there is the presence of mesothelioma cancers.

A CT scan, MRI, positron emission tomography (PET), or an ultrasound can be performed also at this time. They often times referred to as imaging techniques.

These imaging techniques can be used and their value in diagnosing and assessing mesothelioma is also very high.

The use of imaging techniques in mesothelioma diagnosis has been proved useful following the mesothelioma patients previous history. Although, these imaging techniques have been very helpful in the diagnosis of the possibility of mesothelioma cancers, comfirmatory diagnosis is still usually ascertained using fluid diagnosis or tissue biopsy.

It is ultimately a needle biopsy of the pleura (lining of the lung) or an open surgical biopsy which confirms a mesothelioma diagnosis.

Diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma

When a patients show to a doctor, complaining of pain in the chest and/or difficulty in breathing, the doctor must find out a detailed history from that patient, history about symptoms, everything about his work history, and any possibility of exposure to asbestos.

A physical examination must be carried out, and the patient recommended for a chest x-ray at the first instance.

Typical abnormalities observed on the chest x-ray in patients with malignant mesothelioma are a pleural effusion (an accumulation of fluid in the pleura space or cavity), or thickening of the pleura.

If the chest x-ray shows observable signs of malignant mesothelioma, it is then possible that further evaluations and analysis will be recommended, particularly if compensation may be sought. These evaluations may include other imaging techniques, bone scans, blood tests, and lung-function tests, in addition to that, more invasive procedures which includes thoracentesis, pleuroscopy, thoracoscopy, or a biopsy of the lung.

The reasons for these evaluations and analysis is to give a confirmatory diagnosis, to ascertain the kind of mesothelioma, the stage of the mesothelioma cancers (measured by its severity), and in order to determine if the mesothelioma cancers is operable.

A mesothelioma diagnosis is most usually gotten with careful evaluation of clinical and radiological discoveries, in addition to a confirmatory tissue biopsy. Evaluations from examinations of x-rays, and tests for lung function are of importance too. A CT scan or MRI may be used also at this time.

Imaging Techniques and Their Value in mesothelioma Diagnosis

The use of imaging techniques in mesothelioma diagnosis has been proved useful following the patients previous history. Although, these imaging techniques have been very helpful in the diagnosis of the possibility of mesothelioma cancers, comfirmatory diagnosis is still usually ascertained using fluid diagnosis or tissue biopsy.

Survival rates increases with chemotherapy combination

The survival rates of mesothelioma patients have increased with the combination of two or more chemotherapy drugs. Many research centers and organizations have discovered that there is an improvement when these drugs are combined together. For example, in the study of mesothelioma patients who uses pemetrexed and cisplatin, and patients who uses cisplatin alone, the rate of survival for mesothelioma patients with the combination is higher.

There is no cure for mesothelioma cancers but certain improvements are being made to help patients survive through this disease. Mesothelioma cancer as known to be a rare cancer is very aggressive and it affcts the heart, lungs, and stomach. The lungs is the most common of them all.

Many researchers all over the world have gone through series of clinical trials to confirm this combination use and they all come out with the same answer YES.

Although, the symptoms presented by mesothelioma patients differ, and mesothelioma soctors also try to handle these symptoms in special ways. Mesothelioma doctors have many responsibility. They cover integrative, palliative, and symptoms management. So when symptoms present themselves, the mesothelioma doctors already know where it is coming from and they try to eliminate it. This elimination is important because it affects the general health of the patient.

Take for instance a mesothelioma patient who has no appetite, mesothelioma doctors for sure know that the patients needs lot of food to help him fight through. Therefore the management of that symptom comes in.

Patients take in liquid food, take a lot of water, and many other procedures.

Basically, the use of chemotherapy treatment of mesothelioma has proven to be effective, and therefore the need to greatly improve on this method.

The symptoms that show in mesothelioma cancers are fatigue, pain, loss of appetite, cough, and many others are the case may be. The symptoms don't show all of a sudden. They present themselves in a stylish way, giving room for tolerance until it begins to have serious effect on the health of the patient.

Mesothelioma survival addresses patients

A mesothelioma survivor called Paul Kraus gave a speech to other mesothelioma patients about how he got healed. This presentation helped a lot of mesothelioma patients to develop hope that they can still get better.

One of the most important things in medicine is the ability of a patient to fight back in his spirit, once they give up, treatment measure most often don't work.

Paul Kraus was a man who had lost all hope about getting well from his mesothelioma cancers, because of the severity of his disease. He was also given a few months to live, after he received his positive mesothelioma diagnosis in 1997.

But despite all the worst reports around him, he didn't give up. He continued to approve different integrative, experimental, holistic therapies.

He also went through a lot of clinical trials to enable the discovery of better treatment ways.

All these he did, and today after 10 years, he can say he was happy he didn't give up all hope. This encouragement also goes to all mesothelioma patients that are in a critical state in their mesothelioma cancer. All hope is not lost, you can still make it out of there.

These are the kind of stories that should be told to people with mesothelioma cancers, because it helps build their resistance emotionally. When they hear and listen to such stories, their spirit gets revived, and they stay alive to fight back the disease.

Paul Kraus is a living example of that, and that has made him an encouragement to many other mesothelioma patients.

The symptoms, and severity of pleural mesothelioma vary with the stage of the disease, and it also vary with prior treatment. So if you think all pleural mesothelioma patients die, then you have to think again. There are facts that shows that a good percentage of them live to see new years and decades.

Take a close look at the situation with Paul Kraus, he had just a few months to live, but he turned that few months into a time to struggle. He wanted to die struggling, not like someone who died without doing something about it.

For all mesothelioma patients, the struggle does not end...it continues.