A Robot Makes a Breakthrough in Mesothelioma Treatment

April 17, 2013  |  Mesothelioma

Typically, when a patient receives a mesothelioma diagnosis, it is only the beginning of bad news. That was certainly the case with Arizona resident Carlos Tarazon, a family man who had worked construction for the majority of his career.  When Mr. Tarazon was diagnosed with mesothelioma, he quickly began seeking treatment options, but was given little to know chance of long-term survival.  But he and his family refused to accept this prognosis, and they began to search for more innovative approaches to treatment. This led them to Dr. Farid Gharagozloo at the University of Arizona and a cutting-edge approach to mesothelioma surgery that made all the difference. 

In January, Dr. Gharagozloo performed the world’s first robot-assisted extrapleural pneumonectomy, a complex and difficult procedure often used on mesothelioma patients. The procedure required Dr. Gharagozloo to remove Mr. Tarazon’s left lung, the pleural lining of the affected lung area, diaphragm and part of the lining of the heart. Using the Da Vinci Surgical System Robot, the patient’s blood loss was greatly reduced along with his risk of infection and death. Because of this new approach to the procedure, Mr. Tarazon’s hospital stay was drastically shorter than that of a typical extrapleural pneumonectomy patient.

According to Dr. Gharagozloo, the benefits of the robot-assisted procedure can be seen as quickly as the next day. He says that it is the difference between a patient who is on a ventilator and a patient who is sitting on his bed and reading a book. Simply put, using the Da Vinci Surgical System Robot turned out to be a turning point in the results of an extrapleural pneumonectomy.

The mesothelioma team at the University of Arizona Medical Center believes that this could lead to a breakthrough in both how a mesothelioma patient is treated and the outcomes they will have. Dr. Gharagozloo has now performed two successful procedures on mesothelioma patients using the Da Vinci Robot.

As for Mr. Tarazon, he is back at home where he likes to work in the yard and is planning an upcoming vacation this Fall.

The mesothelioma law firm of Baron and Budd is committed to keeping the asbestos disease community informed on emerging research concerning mesothelioma treatment. For the past 35 years, Baron and Budd has been committed to serving the interests of those who have suffered from asbestos exposure. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we would like to talk to you. 

For more information about Baron and Budd, visit here.

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