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Pre Surgery Tests for Mesothelioma Patients

Often mesothelioma patients are required to have surgery to remove tumors, parts of tumors, or parts of organs that have been affected by the disease. However, before any surgery, the patient has to have tests to discover what stage the disease is at and how large the tumor is. Knowing the stage of the disease is important in dictating what treatment should be carried out.

There are many different tests and each one depends on where the mesothelioma is located. If it is in the lung lining, pleural mesothelioma, or the heart lining, pericardial mesothelioma, then usually surgeons will make a small incision in the chest to put in a camera to look in the area, which is a procedure known as mediastinoscopy. They can also remove small pieces of tissue and fluid for analysis.

There is also a newer treatment which is even less invasive called Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) when a tube with a camera fitted and a tiny needle is passed down the throat and through the trachea to check what is happening with the airways, lungs and some of the smaller lymph nodes.

For patients with peritoneal mesothelioma, endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is often used with again a tube down the throat to look at the digestive tract.

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