Cancer surgery is an operation to remove or repair a part of your body to diagnose or treat cancer. It remains the foundation of cancer treatment. Cancer surgery can diagnose or treat cancer or simply relieve the symptoms cancer causes.
The effect of the surgery will vary depending on the location of the cancer and the type of anesthesia used. Most minor surgery can be performed without an overnight stay in the hospital.
Your doctors will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is best for you, including whether you are a candidate for surgery.
When a surgeon has to cut into the body to operate, it’s called invasive surgery. Today, operations that involve less cutting and damage to nearby organs and tissues (less invasive surgery) often can be done to remove tumors while saving as much normal tissue and function as possible.
Surgery offers the greatest chance for cure for many types of cancer, especially those that have not spread to other parts of the body.
Advanced Technology for Minimally Invasive Surgery
da Vinci Robotic Surgery
The da Vinci surgical robot has revolutionized prostatectomy surgery by making it a more precise, minimally invasive procedure with excellent results.
One of the most common treatments for prostate cancer involves the surgical removal of the prostate gland, known as a radical prostatectomy. Traditional radical prostatectomy requires an 8- to 10-inch incision. This open surgery results in substantial blood loss, a lengthy recovery and the risk of impotence and incontinence.
In contrast, the da Vinci robot empowers a surgeon to perform a very precise, nerve-sparing operation through several dime-sized incisions. With this minimally invasive surgery, the goal is to accomplish internal repair while leaving the body surface as natural as it was prior to surgery.
Flex® Robotic System
The device, made by Medrobotics, is unique in its flexible design. Unlike other robotic devices, like the commonly used da Vinci® Surgical System, the Flex® Robotic System features a flexible, tube-like arm rather than a rigid, straight scope. This flexibility allows the device to move along circuitous routes inside the body to reach places that would have formerly required much more invasive surgery to access.
Surgeons are able to insert the flexible scope, and then use a joystick to control it as it winds its way to the right spot inside the body. Once the device reaches its destination, the scope stiffens up so that the surgeon has a stable platform from which to control the surgical tools. An important part of the technology is an on-board HD system to give surgeons an enhanced view of the area on which they’re operating.
When surgeons use the Flex® Robotic System, patients are the ones who truly benefit. Surgery done with the Flex® Robotic System means smaller (or even no) incisions and less risk of damaging healthy tissue.
TransOral Robotic Surgery
The traditional surgical method for removing malignant and benign tumors of the voice box, throat and tongue is to make an external incision across the throat. While effective in giving surgeons access, it is invasive, disfiguring and hard on patients.
TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) uses the precision instruments and fiber-optic camera of the daVinci™ robotic surgery system to access tumors through small incisions in the back of the mouth.
Prospective studies on TORS patients indicate quicker recovery of swallowing and speech abilities after surgery and shorter hospital stays.
Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy Treatment
Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) Treatment attacks abdominal cancers that remain after surgery. Patients can receive it as a palliative measure to help control disease and prevent fluid collection. HIPEC can also be used preventatively.