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The most common cause of mesothelioma, or more precisely, malignant mesothelioma, is exposure to asbestos. Many uses of asbestos were banned throughout the 1970s in the United States. The National Institutes of Health estimates that between 1940 and 1978, 11 million people were exposed to asbestos. However, it can take 10 to 40-plus years for it to develop into cancer.

Today, as medical director of Thoracic Surgery at AdventHealth Celebration, Dr. Gharagozloo remains a leading expert in robotic-assisted mesothelioma surgery. 

Diagnosing Mesothelioma

Many primary care doctors have difficulty identifying mesothelioma. The disease is rare and has non-specific symptoms. Each year, 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States. Most referrals to oncologists come after connecting it to a patient’s work history in a high-risk industry.

Treating Mesothelioma

Traditional surgery to treat mesothelioma is very complex. To access and remove the diseased tissue, the lining of the chest must be carefully pulled away. This can cause significant blood loss during surgery.

Dr. Gharagozloo, MD, FACS, studied the traditional technique. He then designed a breakthrough, minimally invasive approach. In 2013, he performed the first two robotic-assisted surgeries for mesothelioma. The innovative procedure proved to be far safer and result in lower blood loss. It also dramatically improved healing time and quality of recovery. For these reasons, a minimally invasive approach to treating mesothelioma is favored.

To learn more or to schedule a consultation with our Oncology and Thoracic Surgery Program clinical care coordinator, call (407) 303-4877.