Surgical Oncology at Western
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Video: Laparoscopic Liver ResectionLaparoscopic Liver Resection
Laparoscopic Liver Resection
At Western, we use a combination of treatments, including surgery, to fight cancer on all fronts. Learn how Dr. David Litvak and his team perform laparoscopic liver resections for patients fighting liver cancer.
Your care team at CTCA at Western Regional Medical Center (Western) may recommend surgery as a treatment option for you. If you decide to undergo surgery, rest assured that you are in great hands with our skilled surgical oncologists.
The main goal of surgery is to remove cancerous tumors from the body. However, sometimes this is not entirely possible. In some cases, our surgical oncologists may perform surgical procedures to lessen pain (e.g. palliative surgery). We also offer reconstructive surgery and limb-sparing surgery to preserve your mobility and improve your overall quality of life. Our surgical team will try to find a solution to fit your lifestyle.
Innovations in Surgery
Western offers the da Vinci® Surgical System, a sophisticated surgical platform that offers a minimally invasive option for complex surgery.
The da Vinci System enables our surgeons to perform a range of delicate and complex surgical procedures to remove difficult-to-reach cancerous tumors with increased vision, precision, dexterity and control.
The Team Approach
One of the surgical oncologists at Western, Dr. David Litvak discusses the team approach at CTCA, “I work closely with the other specialties such as medical and radiation oncology to provide a comprehensive treatment plan incorporating what I do and what the other specialties offer, such as chemotherapy. This way, patient care is well orchestrated, comprehensive, innovative, durable, and do-able.”
Dr. Litvak is experienced in performing complex open and minimally invasive cancer surgery. He performs laparoscopic liver resections among other specialty surgeries, such as those for cancers of the pancreas, breast, and colon.
If surgery is an appropriate treatment option for you, you will meet with a surgical oncologist during your initial visit to Western. Your surgical oncologist will outline your surgical treatment plan and explain what the various procedures entail.
Like the other members of your care team, your surgical oncologist will empower you with information so you can make a decision that fits your lifestyle. If you do decide to go ahead with surgery, our scheduling system allows you to book your appointment in a day or two, depending on the urgency of the surgery and your personal preferences.
Prior to your procedure, a nurse will advise you regarding any tests you will need in advance, such as blood tests, an electrocardiogram (EKG), or chest X-rays. You will also have a pre-op appointment, which typically takes place the day before your procedure.
During your pre-op visit, you will meet with an anesthesiologist. This doctor is responsible for sedating you so that you can sleep during the procedure and not feel pain.
In addition, you will also meet with surgical staff members, who will describe the details of your procedure and take you on a tour of the surgical suite (if desired). The surgery rooms at Western, which provide a view of the mountains, are well equipped for a variety of complex procedures, including those needed to treat late-stage cancers.
Before you undergo surgery, your surgical oncologist and the surgical staff expect you to ask questions and encourage you to do so. Their goal is for you to feel as comfortable about your upcoming procedure as possible.
Ensuring Your Comfort on Surgery Day
The day after your preop visit, you will come to the hospital for surgery. You will initially wait in our waiting area where nurses will greet you and address any anxieties you may still have. A nurse will arrange an IV for you to deliver any medications you need prior to your procedure
After administering your medications, the nurse will bring you to the room where the surgery will take place. During the operation, experienced surgical technologists and nurses assist the surgeon by passing the tools he or she needs. An anesthesiologist is also present.
After the procedure, you will be brought to another room where you will slowly recover from the sedation. Here, familiar faces will greet you and answer any questions you may have regarding the recovery process. At CTCA, our surgical staff is as skilled as they are compassionate. We want your recovery to be as quick and painless as possible.
Following your procedure, your surgical oncologist and the rest of your care team will manage your progress and comfort each day.
Cancer treatment experts from the complementary medicine departments such as nutrition, naturopathic medicine, and mind-body medicine will work with you to reduce any side effects and promote your quality of life.
For instance, your nutritionist may offer you advice on what foods to eat in order to regain your strength, your naturopathic physician may recommend supplements to defeat nausea, your pain management specialist may provide medications to control pain, and your mind-body therapist may provide relaxation techniques to help ease any discomfort.