Complication from extra-pleural pneumonectomy

July 31, 2007

Extra-plueral pneumonectomy is a radical surgical option for mesothelioma patients. Unlike pleurectomy/decortication surgery, which leaves the lung intact, the removal of the affected lung can have serious complications in addition to reduced quality of life and lack of mobility associated with only having a single functioning lung. The following abstract reports on one such complication.

1: J Thorac Oncol. 2007 Jul;2(7):673-5

Constrictive pericarditis after left extrapleural pneumonectomy and radiotherapy for malignant mesothelioma.
Hickey EJ, Khan AA, Chambers JB, Lang-Lazdunski L.

The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. edward.hickey@sickkids.ca

We report the devastating complication of constrictive pericarditis after multimodality therapy including left extrapleural pneumonectomy for malignant pleural mesothelioma. The patient presented with progressive dyspnea, ascites, and peripheral edema 6 months after receiving adjuvant radiotherapy. A diagnosis of constrictive pericarditis was made late in the clinical course after exhaustive investigation to exclude primary disease recurrence. Pericardial decortication was subsequently undertaken 12 months after the initial surgery, but the patient died of multi-organ failure. Our experience, combined with a review of the available literature, leads us to advise a low level of suspicion and early operation to relieve cardiac constriction. Furthermore, these complications emphasize the importance of trials such as the Mesothelioma and Radical Surgery (MARS) study.
PMID: 17607128 [PubMed – in process]

Additional information about asbestos medical and legal options are available from the Law Office of Roger G. Worthington, P.C., www.mesothel.com.

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Post-bankruptcy asbestos defendant doing well

July 31, 2007

Corning, Inc., heir to one of the major corporate defendants in asbestos litigation, emerged from bankruptcy having left its obligations and debts to thousands of poisoned workers in a trust fund. Many observers believe that the trust fund is woefully inadequate. After emerging from bankruptcy, minus its asbestos debts, Corning, like other asbestos companies that sought refuge in faux bankruptcy, continues to be profitable.

From Rich Smith, July 31, 2007.

–Corning earned $0.30 per share in Q2. It would have earned $0.34, but for a charge to earnings. The value of the stock the company had contributed to an asbestos litigation settlement fund rose more quickly than expected. That worked out to a 6% decline in earnings per share.

–Sales grew 12.4%, and the firm earned a record 46.5% gross margin on those sales.

–Operating margin dropped precipitously — but illusorily, since the asbestos litigation charge mentioned above combined with a nearly equal-and-opposite benefit in last year’s Q2 to magnify the difference in operating margin. Likewise with the net margin, with dropped to 34.5% from last year’s 40.8%.

Additional information about asbestos medical and legal options are available from the Law Office of Roger G. Worthington, P.C., www.mesothel.com.