Decortication is a procedure that is used for treating mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is very costly as well. If you want to save yourself from this you must have full knowledge of mesothelioma otherwise it could be very deadly.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer in which a fluid is formed between the walls of mesothelium (mesothelium is the outer lining of the main organs of the body to protect them) and patients usually feel chest pain and dry cough is also examined in this disease.

Asbestos penetrates into these walls of protection and damages them to an incurable end.

Decortication and Pleurectomy

The first target of mesothelioma is always plural lining of lungs. This damage can be healed up easily if it is found in an early stage but usually it does not happen. Mesothelioma takes decades to come into surface and its late diagnosis leads the patient to an unexplainable agony. This treatment is recommended in a variety of disorders like pleural effusion, malignant pleural mesothelioma and trauma.


Pleurectomy is a surgical procedure in which the affected pleura is drained out under the supervision of specialist doctors. As all the medical terms derive from Greek, pleurectomy is also a Greek word. It is a mix of 2 words: “pleuron” which means “ribs” and “ektome” which means “to cut out”. In this way of treatment, the outer lining of the lungs is removed through surgery. This treatment is very effective in the early stage of mesothelioma and the patient feels complete relief after this surgery.

Pleurectomy is a treatment in which complete decortication of pleura is performed. The parietal pleura is dissected off the chest wall and the mediastinum. Then the pleura is opened and the visceral pleura is removed. As it is a serious and complicated surgery so a patient is admitted in the hospital one or two days before the operation. Pre-operative care is necessary for the patients of mesothelioma.

The paper work is done and all the history is noted in a record during pre-operative care. The pleurectomy is performed under general anesthesia (unconsciousness of the patient throughout), incision is made above the affected area and the pleural lining is removed with some of the healthy tissues for being on the safe side.

After the surgery, an oncologist decides that the chemotherapy is necessary or not. Radiation may also be recommended to make it sure that the disease has completely been removed. Full recovery may take four to six weeks and some types of exercises are also suggested to make the lungs healthy. The result of this surgical treatment depends largely on the patients’ own will power. Otherwise all the efforts of doctors may go wrong.

What is decortication?

Decortication means removal of rind or to peel. In medical context, this term refers to the removal of the outer layer of tissues which cover an organ. This procedure is typically used in the treatment of certain lung diseases such as tuberculosis and mesothelioma. The visceral pleura is removed that encases the lungs in the decortication of lungs.

Decortication has both the purposes – curative and palliative. In curative treatment, decortication is performed with parietal pleurectomy to remove all the affected tissues. Palliative treatment is performed in most of the trapped lungs cases. The visceral pleura is removed as the lungs cannot expand and contract easily and freely and the patients feel pain while breathing. But this is a temporary treatment.

The process of decortication

The process of decortication is very delicate and serious as there is great risk of damage during the surgery. The surgeons remove many layers of pleura to make sure that all the malignant tissues have been removed. In this process of removal of damaged tissues, there is a chance of being removed the healthy tissues as well along with some part of lungs. After this, doctors re-sect the extra fluid and pus which is gathered around the lungs. there area unit 2 ways in which of playacting this procedure

1- Thoracotomy


Thoracotomy is a standard and conservative technique for decortication. The surgeons have maximum exposure to the affected area and they can remove the pleural cavity completely.

VATS is comparatively a modern technique in which the patients who cannot undergo the process of thoracotomy have a chance of effective palliative treatment. It is a new method and we do not have its side effects and after effects in record up till now.

It is very important that the selection of the patients undergoing the decortication procedure must be very particular. No doubt the mortality rate is very low in this procedure but the survival rate is also very low. So only those patients should be recommended decortication that may benefit from palliative treatment.


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