Diaphragmatic and pericardial reconstruction after surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma
Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and pleurectomy-decortication (P/D) are both recognised surgical procedures for selected cases affected by malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Surgical techniques have ameliorated over the last years, remaining the complete macroscopic resection of the disease the main surgical principle. EPP is defined as an en-bloc resection of the visceral pleura, parietal pleura, pericardium and diaphragm alongside the pneumonectomy. The thoracic domain of the International Association for Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) recently clarified the, previously confused, surgical terminology. “Extended P/D” is considered as parietal and visceral pleurectomy, diaphragmatic and pericardial resection with the purpose to remove all macroscopic disease. The term “radical” was replaced by “extended” to underline that this procedure does not have oncologic radicality aims. Both operations above are technically challenging and associated with a significant rate of peri-operative morbidity and nonnegligible mortality. The diaphragmatic and pericardial reconstruction technique is mandatory to avoid respiratory impairment and to reduce post-operative complications like gastric and cardiac herniation. The technical aspects of resection and reconstruction are described and the choice of different prosthetic materials, considering the most recent innovations in the field, are discussed.