Learn More About The Advanced Surgical Options At Southwestern: Chat with Us | Email Us
We want you to be comfortable throughout your treatment at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). This is especially true in our Surgical Oncology Department at CTCA at Southwestern Regional Medical Center.
We do everything we can to help lessen any anxiety you may have about the idea of undergoing surgery. We do this by listening to you, responding to your needs, and keeping you and your family well informed and educated about your procedure.
The Surgical Team
Our highly skilled, patient-focused team includes nearly 40 staff members—surgeons, nurses, surgical technicians, anesthesiologists, gastroenterologists, and more.
Every month, we perform approximately 350 surgical procedures. Common procedures include endoscopies (for GI-related cancers), bronchoscopies (for lung cancer) and port placements for chemotherapy treatment. Insertion of brachytherapy catheters for radiation therapy is another surgery we frequently perform. We also perform extensive procedures, such as surgery on abdominal and thoracic organs.
A Typical Surgical Procedure
Depending on your specific diagnosis, upon your first visit to the hospital, you’ll meet with a surgeon and his or her nurse. During this meeting, you’ll discuss your surgical treatment options.
If you decide to go ahead with a procedure, the physician’s nurse will schedule the surgery, as well as a preoperative (preop) visit. The process goes quickly from there.
Before surgery, you’ll have a preop visit with a nurse, who will tell you all about the perioperative experience (i.e., what you may go through before, during and after your surgery). The nurse will also let you know if you need any tests done prior to your surgery, such as a blood test, electrocardiogram (EKG) or chest X-ray. Your nurse will encourage you to ask questions and talk about any concerns you may have.
After the preop visit, you may also meet with an anesthesiologist, if you are going to receive any type of anesthesia other than nurse-administered anesthesia (i.e., conscious sedation).
The following day, you will come into the hospital for your surgery. You’ll be admitted to the holding area, where nurses will set your IV and provide any medications you will need before your surgery.
From there, you will go to the intraoperative area, where the actual surgery is performed. A registered nurse is always in charge of that room. Surgical scrub techs are on hand to assist the physician. An anesthesiologist is also present during procedures that require an anesthetic medication to be administered.
Once surgery is complete, you’ll be moved into a recovery room. There are two phases of recovery. In phase 1 (the immediate, postoperative phase), we make sure that your pain is under control and your vital signs are stable.
Then, depending on whether your surgery requires you to be hospitalized, once you reach certain criteria, you will be moved to the inpatient ward or intensive care unit (ICU), or to a phase 2 recovery room, if you undergo outpatient surgery. If you are sent to the phase 2 recovery room, nurses will follow your progress, making sure you take and retain fluids and that your pain is still under control.
Throughout the whole process, the surgical team maintains constant communication with your caregivers to let them know what’s going on and answer any questions they may have.
We can also treat neurological cancers with advanced surgical procedures through our in-house Neurosurgery Program. Neurosurgeon Dr. Clinton Baird uses innovative surgical techniques, like intraoperative electrophysiology “brain mapping” and intraoperative neuronavigation, which help to enhance the safety of treatment.
Want to Learn More?
If you’re interested in discovering more about the Surgical Oncology Department, take the Virtual Tour of our surgical suites. When you get here, registered nurses can provide a private tour and answer any questions you may have.