What is laparoscopic surgery?
Laparoscopic (or “minimally invasive”) surgery describes a particular type of surgical approach that uses small incisions, oftentimes just 0.5 to 1 cm in length. This differs from “open surgery,” a traditional surgical technique in which an incision must be made large enough for the physician to insert fingers and tools into the operative area. Laparoscopic surgery may be an option for your cancer treatment at Jordan Valley Cancer Center. Some laparoscopic procedures, such as hysterectomy and prostatectomy, may even be done with the assistance of a robotic tool, which is controlled by the physician and used for high-definition visualization and precise surgical movements.
What types of cancer can be treated surgically?
Many cancers can be treated with laparoscopic surgery in our West Jordan facility. Several cancers commonly treated via minimally invasive surgery are listed below. However, you and your physician(s) will ultimately make the decision about whether or not minimally invasive surgery is right for you. A surgical candidate’s eligibility depends on a number of factors, including overall health, the type and stage of the cancer, and other treatments that have already been administered or are planned to be administered.
- Endometrial (uterine)
- Vaginal & Vulvar Cancers
Goals of Minimally Invasive Surgery
Minimally invasive surgery may be used to accomplish the following goals:
- Staging the cancer
- Tumor removal (also referred to as “curative surgery”)
- Debulking (the practice of removing as much of the tumor as is safe; this procedure may be paired with radiation before or after to shrink the tumor)
- Palliation (palliative surgery may provide relief from side effects or stop bleeding; its goal is to improve quality of life in patients with advanced cancer)
- Reconstruction (surgery to repair appearance or function after cancer treatment)
- Prevention (some women who are at-risk for cancer caused by BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes elect to have preventive surgery)
Is minimally invasive surgery better than open surgery?
While it is not possible to generalize minimally invasive surgery as “better” or “worse” than open surgery in all scenarios, it is true that in most cases, laparoscopic surgery offers the following benefits compared to open surgery:
- Shorter recovery time
- Less pain
- Less scarring
- Smaller incisions
- Easier return to normal activities
- Lower risk of infection
- Shorter hospital stay
Less bleeding, bruising, and lower rate of complications is also standard to some laparoscopic procedures. Your physician will be able to tell you more about the pros and cons of laparoscopic surgery for cancer treatment.
Will removing the tumor cure the cancer?
No cancer treatment can guarantee a cure. Also, for some patients, laparoscopic surgery may be a component of a greater treatment plan that includes other cancer treatment modalities. Your surgeon will help set expectations prior to your surgery. Also, if you have any questions about minimally invasive surgery for cancer, ask your Nurse Navigator, who will provide you with resources about your options and serve as your advocate.
Minimally Invasive Surgery for Cancer In West Jordan, UT
For more information about your cancer treatment options at Jordan Valley Cancer Center, please contact us by calling 801-601-2260. We believe in an integrative approach to cancer care. By bringing together surgical oncologists with experience in laparoscopic and robot-assisted techniques, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, our patients have a full spectrum of treatment options and experienced cancer care professionals available to them.