Clinical Conditions & Program Offerings
Laparoscopy – A surgical procedure in which a laparoscope (thin, tube-like instrument) is inserted into the abdominal wall and used to remove tissue. This procedure can be an alternative to traditional open surgery and generally results in a faster recovery time and less post-operative pain.
Radiofrequency ablation – Radiofrequency ablation achieves tumor destruction via the placement of a thin electrode into the tumor center. A current passes through the electrode and heats the tumor to a destructive temperature. Sometimes re-treatment is necessary.
Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) – A procedure in which a warmed chemotherapy solution is used to bathe the peritoneal cavity and intra-abdominal organs to prevent microscopic tumor left after surgery from growing back. HIPEC treatment is often performed directly after cytoreductive surgery. For more information on HIPEC treatment see screening and qualifications, Mercy’s HIPEC booklet, and HIPEC definitions.
Cytoreductive surgery for peritoneal malignancy - The aggressive removal or destruction of all visible tumors present throughout the peritoneal surfaces. Surgical techniques and technology used to accomplish tumor removal and destruction include electro-evaporation, laser, ultrasonic dissection and argon beam coagulator. This is an extensive, lengthy procedure, usually lasting on average more than 10 hours.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy – A radio-labeled material is used to determine the lymph node the tumor would spread to first. That “sentinel node” is then biopsied to determine whether or not lymph nodes are involved or the cancer has spread. If there is no evidence of metastases, the patient can be spared further surgery.
Isolated limb infusion (ILI) – A new, state-of-the-art technique used to treat advanced melanoma or sarcoma confined to an arm or leg. Chemotherapy medications are injected into an artery of the affected arm or leg while the limb’s blood supply is temporarily cut off with a tourniquet. This procedure allows the drugs to be delivered in a high dose to the affected area and provides less damage to healthy tissue.
Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) – A sophisticated, computer-guided radiation therapy technique in which precise doses of radiation are delivered to very specific areas within a tumor, sparing more surrounding healthy tissue.
Brachytherapy – Also known as internal radiation therapy. A sealed implant is inserted in the tissue near the tumor site, allowing for a more precise delivery of radiation with less damage to normal tissue.
Capsule endoscopy – A specially sealed capsule, the size of a large vitamin, is swallowed and transmits pictures of the gastrointestinal tract as it travels through the system.
CT enteroclysis – Computed tomography enteroclysis. A new, state-of-the-art radiographic test for diagnosing small-bowel disease.
Familial tumor syndromes – A genetic condition that causes an increased risk for specific types of cancers.
Portal vein embolization – A technique used prior to surgery to treat liver cancer. Hypertrophy (growth) is induced in the healthy part of the liver, which will remain after surgery. Used when the future liver remnant (after surgery) is small or functionally compromised.
Radioguided parathyroidectomy – A minimally invasive technique in which a probe is used to detect minute levels of radioactivity in a hyperactive parathyroid tumor. This surgery allows the removal of only the affected area, rather than the removal of all four parathyroid glands.
Hepatic artery embolization – A technique used to treat unresectable tumors. Blocking agents are injected into the hepatic artery to cut off the supply of blood and nutrients to a tumor.
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