Palliative Surgery for improving Quality of Life

Palliative Surgery for improving Quality of Life

Palliative surgery is a type of surgery used to relieve the symptoms of the patients who have no hope of complete treatment. It provides symptom relief and helps the patient to increase the longevity of the life of patients. This type of surgery usually involves the usage of least interventive treatment for increasing the life of people suffering from a terminal illness like cancer.


The palliative surgery is performed to evaluate the extent of disease. The procedure also helps to control the locoregional spread of the disease. It is performed in case of spreading of a tumor, or discharge or hemorrhage. Palliative surgery is often performed to reduce the pain being experienced by the patient. This surgery can range in a variety of operations from debulking to less complex operations.

Some cases when a palliative surgery may be performed are

– To remove the neurolytic blockage in head and neck disease.

– Surgical debulking in case of fungating breast cancer.

– Stent insertion for spinal cord compression.


Like all types of surgery, palliative surgery also carries risks. The patient should consider the risks of the surgery with the doctor. Generally, it is performed to increase the life span of a person. But, some ethical questions have been raised against the procedure. The most important one being about the providing of true information to the patients without destroying hope and complex decision making.

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