Cancer surgery aims to get rid of the cancerous tissue from the body. The surgeons use cutting tools to accomplish this. In the event that lymph nodes have cancerous cells, the surgeon may also remove them. There is a greater chance that cancer will spread or ‘metastasise’ to other parts of the body if it spreads to the lymph nodes. When a cancer has spread to another part of the body, it is referred to as ‘metastatic.’
TYPES OF CANCER SURGERY OUR PARTNERS OFFER
Although surgery to remove or even treat cancer is one of the oldest forms of treatment when it comes to dealing with cancer, treatments, procedures and the surgery performed has advanced a great deal over the past few decades and continues to do so. Our partners offer world-leading cancer surgery options for patients.
Laser surgery uses beams of light to shrink/destroy cancer cells. For newer cancers, lasers can disintegrate cancerous tissue. For more advanced cancers, laser therapy can shrink tumours, working hand in hand with other cancer treatments like chemotherapy.
What Are The Side Effects of Laser Surgery?
The risks and side effects of laser treatment depend on the area of your body or organ receiving the treatment. Side effects include swelling and sensitivity to light. However, these effects should dissipate shortly after the treatment.
Laparoscopy can be performed as an outpatient or in-patient procedure. You will be put to sleep with general anaesthesia and placed on a breathing machine. A small incision is made in the abdominal wall, and the laparoscope is then inserted. A small amount of gas will be pumped into the abdomen via the incision to make the organs visible. Various tools may be utilised in the lower abdomen to remove and biopsy abnormal tissue, which is then tested in a lab. The laparoscope, cutting instrument, and most of the gas will then be removed and incisions closed. The procedure can take between 30-90 minutes, but can take longer.
When is Laparoscopic Surgery Needed?
Laparoscopic surgery for cancer can be used to treat stomach cancer and small gynecologic cancers, such as ovarian, endometrial and cervical cancers as well as cancers of the colon or kidney.
What Are The Risks of Laparoscopic Surgery?
Risks of laparoscopic surgery include:
- Needing to have a laparotomy, where the abdomen is opened with a larger cut, because the procedure could not be done with the smaller cuts used by laparoscopy
- Injury to nearby organs (especially the bowel and bladder)
- Infection of the incisions (cuts)
Seek immediate medical attention for any post procedural problems such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, hemoptysis (coughing up blood), or a persistent fever. These symptoms may warrant further investigation.
Treating cancer can have an impact on your appearance and overall body function. This can cause difficulties with self esteem as well as depression. Reconstructive surgery can help alleviate some of those effects by trying to make the part of the body appear as it was prior to treatment. Sometimes,it is done at the same time the tumour is removed or can be completed at a later date. The right type of reconstructive surgery will depend on your individual circumstance. There are some factors to consider such as your preferences, your doctor’s abilities, your overall health, and where on the body you require reconstruction.
Some complications associated with reconstructive surgery include
- Excess bleeding
- Difficulty in wound healing
- Anaesthesia problems
The surgeon is seated away from the operating table during robotic surgery. On a screen in front of them, a 3D representation of the surgical site is displayed. To perform the procedure, the surgeon uses hand controls to direct a robot to move surgical instruments. Robotic surgery enables the surgeon to work in areas that are hard to access. Patients who undergo this kind of surgery may recover more quickly and experience fewer complications.
When is Robotic Surgery Needed?
With traditional laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, surgery, humans are known to have a limited range of motion and dexterity compared to robotic surgical devices. This enables surgeons to perform operations on difficult-to-reach body parts and get a better view of obscured areas.
The use of robotic equipment is common in minimally invasive procedures. Small incisions are used during these procedures This method typically results in less discomfort, less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and quicker recovery time.
Risks of Robotic Surgery
A very small chance exists for complications like bleeding, blood clots and infection when undergoing robotic surgery in the course of treatment for cancer. The risks are the same whether surgery is performed using robotic or traditional methods.
Depending on your type of cancer its progression, surgery can be used to:
- Remove the entire tumour: Surgery removes the entirety of cancer that is contained in one area. This is ideal if the tumour is not large or has not metastasized to another part of the body or is not located near sensitive organs and blood vessels. These tumours will typically have well defined borders and can be removed with relative ease.
- Partial Removal:A cancerous tumour can also be partially removed through surgery. When completely removing a tumour could harm an organ or the body, debulking is used. Other treatments may work more effectively if part of the tumour is removed. This could be combined with other methods to ease cancer symptoms.Tumors that are painful or pressing on nearby structures can be surgically removed.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF CANCER SURGERY?
The risks of cancer surgery will depend on the type of operation you're having as well as your cancer, any previous medical history that may influence the surgery and more. Your surgeon will discuss all potential risks with you prior to any surgery or treatment. Risks can include:
- Pain: Pain is a common side effect of most surgeries. Some cause more pain than others. You’ll be provided painkillers to help manage your pain post operatively
- Infection: You’ll be shown proper wound care techniques following your procedure. Follow these instructions to prevent infection. Infections can prolong recovery
- Loss of organ function: To remove your cancer, the provider may need to remove some of or an entire organ. For some such operations, the remaining organ can work well enough that you'll feel like you did before surgery. In other situations, you could have some problems after surgery. For instance, removal of a lung may make breathing more difficult
- Fatigue: After cancer surgery, you may feel exhausted for the first few days. This is expected and will improve upon your recovery
- Bleeding: Bleeding is a risk in all operations. Tell your provider if you’re on any medications like blood thinners
- Blood clots: Recovery from surgery gives you a higher risk of developing a blood clot. Your medical team will get you up and out of bed as soon as possible after your operation and may recommend a blood thinner for you to take depending on your circumstances
- Impaired bowel and bladder function: Right after surgery, you may have trouble using the bathroom. This should improve within the first few days post procedure
Nearly all cancers if caught early enough can be excised via surgery depending on the location in the body.
Absolutely! Your doctor should respect your decision to enquire about a second opinion. You can either see another doctor that you request or one can be recommended to you by your medical team.
Depending on the type of cancer, location in the body, and progression, your plan of care may involve other types of cancer treatment (radiotherapy or chemotherapy) usually before surgery in order to shrink the tumour to a manageable size.