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What to Know About Pleurectomy/Decortication (P/D)

Pleurectomy/Decortication (P/D) is a surgical procedure that involves removing the pleura, a thin layer of tissue that lines the lungs and chest wall. This procedure is used to treat pleural effusions, which are fluid build-ups between the layers of tissue in the chest cavity.

Benefits of a Pleurectomy/Decortication

Pleurectomy/decortication is a surgery that can be an effective treatment for certain patients with mesothelioma. This lung-sparing procedure removes the pleura, the tissue that lines the lungs, and any cancerous cells from the chest cavity.

Pleurectomy/decortication has been found to have a higher success rate than more extensive forms of mesothelioma surgery, such as extrapleural pneumonectomy. It also involves less recovery time and fewer long-term side effects.

A P/D may improve a person’s quality of life as well as alleviate many symptoms of their mesothelioma, such as shortness of breath.

The Pleurectomy/Decortication Procedure

During the procedure, the surgeon will make an incision in the chest and remove the pleural lining, as well as any scar tissue or abnormal growths that may be present. The surgeon may also remove a small portion of the lung itself if it is necessary.

The goal of the procedure is to remove the diseased pleural tissue and any other abnormal tissue in order to allow the lung to expand more easily, which can help to improve breathing.

The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia and can take several hours to complete. After the surgery, you will typically need to stay in the hospital for a few days to recover.

Pleurectomy/Decortication Risks and Side Effects

As with any surgical procedure, a pleurectomy/decortication carries a risk of complications. Some potential risks and side effects of the procedure include:

  • Bleeding: There is a risk of bleeding during and after the surgery. In some cases, the bleeding may be significant and require a blood transfusion.
  • Infection: There is also a risk of infection following the surgery. The incision site may become infected, or you may develop a respiratory infection.
  • Pneumothorax: A pneumothorax is a condition in which air leaks into the space between the lung and the chest wall, causing the lung to collapse. This can occur during or after the surgery.
  • Scarring: The chest incision made during the surgery may leave a scar.
  • Respiratory problems: Some patients may experience difficulty breathing or other respiratory problems following the surgery. This may be due to the removal of a portion of the lung or to scarring of the pleura.
  • Pain: You may experience pain following the surgery, which can be managed with medication.
  • Pulmonary edema: This is a condition in which fluid builds up in the lungs and can make it difficult to breathe. It can occur after the surgery due to the removal of the pleural lining, which can cause fluid to accumulate in the lungs.
  • Heart problems: In rare cases, the procedure may cause heart problems, such as an irregular heartbeat or a heart attack.

It is important to discuss the potential risks and side effects of the procedure with a healthcare provider before the surgery.

Pleurectomy/Decortication Recovery

The recovery process after a pleurectomy/decortication will vary depending on your age, overall health, and the specifics of the procedure. In general, however, you can expect to experience some pain and discomfort following the surgery, which can be managed with pain medication.

You will need to stay in the hospital for a few days to recover. During this time, you will be monitored for any complications, such as infection or bleeding. you will also be encouraged to get out of bed and move around as soon as possible to help prevent blood clots and improve circulation.

After being discharged from the hospital, you will need to rest and take it easy for a few weeks. You may need to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting during this time. You may also need to attend follow-up appointments with the healthcare provider to ensure that the recovery is progressing as expected.

It is important for you to follow the healthcare provider’s instructions for caring for the incision site and to report any unusual symptoms or concerns to the provider.

You may experience some shortness of breath and fatigue during the recovery process. These symptoms should improve over time as your body adjusts to the changes that were made during the surgery.


How long does it take to recover from a pleurectomy/decortication?

Recovery from a pleurectomy/decortication can take several weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the condition and any complications that may arise after surgery.

What is decortication of a pleura?

Decortication of the pleura is a surgical procedure used to remove scar tissue, adhesions, or other material that has built up on the pleural surface. This procedure is often necessary for people with chronic lung diseases such as emphysema, tuberculosis, and mesothelioma.

Can you live a normal life after lung surgery?

Lung surgery can be a life-altering experience, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of your life as you know it. You can still live a normal life after lung surgery with proper care and attention.

Lung surgeries are becoming increasingly common as advances in medical technology make them safer and more effective than ever before. With proper care, those who have undergone lung surgery can live normal lives with improved quality of life and increased energy levels.

Next Steps if You’ve Been Recommended a Pleurectomy/Decortication

Pleurectomy/decortication is a surgical procedure used to remove the pleural lining of the lungs. It is used to treat conditions such as pleural effusion, mesothelioma, and other diseases of the lungs. If you have been recommended to undergo this procedure, there are several steps you should take before the surgery.

Your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions on how to prepare for the surgery. This may include changing your diet and lifestyle, taking medications as prescribed, and stopping smoking if applicable.

Additionally, your doctor will discuss any potential risks associated with the surgery and answer any questions you may have about the procedure. Afterward, you may need to arrange transportation home after discharge from the hospital or clinic where you will be having your surgery done.