Patients with suspected mesothelioma may no longer have to undergo inpatient surgery in order to be properly diagnosed. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, associated with exposure to asbestos that can be very difficult to diagnose. Patients with mesothelioma often present pleural effusion, a build up of fluid around the lungs, as one of the early symptoms of the disease. However, pleural effusion is associated with many different conditions as well as mesothelioma. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have found that an out patient procedure called thoracoscopy is a safer and less invasive alternative to thoracic surgery for patients presenting pleural effusion.
Typically doctors first attempt to determine the cause of the effusion with imaging studies and fluid samples. When those methods fail to produce a definitive diagnosis, doctors will often opt to perform thoracic surgery. Thoracic surgery creates a risk of heart and breathing problems, in addition to risks like postoperative infection that are associated with any surgical procedure. The Mayo Clinic study found that surgery may no longer be necessary.
A thoracoscopy is an outpatient procedure wherein a camera called a thoracoscope is used to examine the chest cavity. The study of 51 patients with leaking pleural effusion found that the thoracoscopy allowed researchers to more precisely diagnose the cause of the effusion. The study reported no significant heart or breathing problems and very few other complications following the procedure. The researchers suggest that the procedure can be easily integrated into practices at outpatient surgical centers thereby increasing the safety of getting an accurate diagnosis for patients with suspected mesothelioma.
If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, or another asbestosis-related illness, you need an experienced asbestos lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve. The Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler represent clients with asbestos-related illnesses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Contact us today for a free consultation at 1-800-369-0899 or contact us online.