Pleurectomy/Decortication (P/D) and Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP) are surgical procedures used in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs.
Both procedures involve the removal of the affected lung tissue and surrounding pleura, which is the thin layer of tissue that lines the chest cavity and covers the lungs. P/D involves the removal of the pleura and any visible tumors, while leaving the lung intact, while EPP involves the removal of the entire lung along with the pleura and any visible tumors.
After undergoing P/D or EPP surgery, patients will require post-operative care and follow-up to ensure a successful recovery. The following are some of the post-operative instructions for P/D and EPP surgeries:
Pain management: Pain is common after P/D and EPP surgeries, and patients will be prescribed pain medication to manage discomfort. It is important to take the medication as directed by the surgeon and to report any uncontrolled pain to the medical team.
Chest tube management: Chest tubes will be placed after surgery to drain any fluid or air that may accumulate in the chest cavity. The medical team will monitor the chest tubes and remove them when there is no longer a need for them.
Breathing exercises: Patients will be instructed to perform breathing exercises to prevent complications such as pneumonia and atelectasis (partial collapse of the lung). These exercises may include deep breathing, coughing, and using an incentive spirometer.
Physical activity: Patients will be encouraged to increase their physical activity gradually after surgery, as this can help improve lung function and prevent complications. However, it is important to avoid lifting heavy objects or engaging in strenuous activities for several weeks after surgery.
Wound care: Patients will need to keep the surgical incision site clean and dry to prevent infection. They should follow the surgeon’s instructions regarding wound care and report any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or drainage, to the medical team.
Follow-up appointments: Patients will need to attend follow-up appointments with the surgeon and medical team to monitor their recovery and detect any potential complications. These appointments may include imaging tests, blood tests, and pulmonary function tests.
Diet and hydration: Patients may experience a loss of appetite and difficulty eating after surgery. It is important to eat a nutritious diet and drink plenty of fluids to promote healing and prevent dehydration.
Emotional support: P/D and EPP surgeries can be emotionally challenging for patients and their families. It is important to seek emotional support from loved ones, support groups, or a mental health professional to manage any anxiety, depression, or other emotional issues that may arise.
In conclusion, P/D and EPP surgeries are major procedures that require careful post-operative care and follow-up to ensure a successful recovery. Patients should follow their surgeon’s instructions and seek medical attention if they experience any complications or concerns. With proper care and support, patients can achieve a successful recovery and improve their quality of life.