Our website will soon be relaunched with a fresh look and improved user experience. Take a look by visiting our test site.
Call us 24/7 at (888) 552-6760
Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Surgical Oncology

surgical oncology

Our department

The Department of Surgical Oncology at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) provides a variety of advanced surgical procedures for the treatment of cancer and cancer-related symptoms.

Since many of our patients come to us with complex and advanced stage cancers, the surgical oncology team is experienced in providing advanced surgical procedures for all types and stages of disease.

Your surgical team

Our surgical oncology team includes surgical oncologists and surgeons with advanced training in various surgical techniques, as well as nurses, surgical technicians, anesthesiologists and other cancer professionals with diverse expertise in treating all types and stages of cancer. We work closely with you to find surgical options best suited to your individual needs and preferences, so you can feel confident in your treatment decisions.

  • Prior to surgery, we will explain what you can expect, answer your questions and help you feel comfortable with an upcoming procedure.
  • During surgery, our pathologists can evaluate tissue samples as they are removed and provide pathology results immediately. This helps ensure that your surgical oncology team is able to remove as much cancerous tissue as possible during surgery, reducing the likelihood that you will have to undergo multiple surgeries.
  • After surgery, your care team will work with you to help prevent and manage any side effects. You may also have reconstructive surgery to restore appearance or function.

Innovations in surgery

Our experienced surgeons have performed thousands of procedures and will discuss the surgical options that are best suited to your individual needs. We provide minimally invasive surgical procedures, which help reduce side effects and shorten recovery.

Whether a patient is a candidate for surgery depends on factors such as the location, size, type, grade and stage of the tumor, as well as age, general health and other factors. The goal of surgery may be to remove the tumor (e.g., excisions, resections, debulking surgery), reconstruct a part of the body (e.g., restorative surgery), and/or to relieve symptoms such as pain (e.g., palliative surgery).

For some patients, surgery may be combined with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy, administered before or after surgery to stop cancer growth, spread or recurrence.

Early in the treatment planning process, we plan for and proactively manage side effects from surgery. Our nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists and naturopathic clinicians work together with your surgical oncologist to support your healing and quality of life. Our reconstructive surgeons perform procedures to restore the body's appearance and function, often at the time of surgery or following surgery.

Neurosurgery services

We can also treat neurological cancers with advanced surgical procedures through our in-house Neurosurgery Services Program at CTCA® Chicago. Neurosurgeon Dr. Juan Alzate uses innovative surgical techniques, like intraoperative electrophysiology “brain mapping” and intraoperative neuronavigation, which help to enhance the safety of treatment.

Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence

In our Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence, we perform sophisticated surgical procedures to treat breast cancer, including:

  • Breast-sparing surgery: Whenever possible, our surgical team performs breast-sparing surgery, such as lumpectomies and partial breast mastectomies. During breast surgery, our pathologists can evaluate tissue samples as they are removed and provide pathology results immediately, so we can remove as much cancerous tissue as possible and avoid multiple surgeries.
  • Innovative breast reconstruction: Our surgeons excel in oncoplastic and reconstructive methods to remove a breast tumor and carefully reshape the breast in one surgery, minimizing scarring and maintaining as much of the breast tissue as possible. We can perform autologous fat grafting using the patient’s own fat tissue from another part of the body to rebuild the breast so it looks and feels like a normal breast, with no visible incisions.
  • Surgical treatment options for lymphedema: We provide surgical options for the treatment of lymphedema after non-surgical therapeutic approaches have been exhausted. Our surgeons perform vascularized lymph node transfer surgery and lymphaticovenular bypass surgery. In each procedure, we use a high-magnification microscope and a patient’s existing lymph nodes and blood vessels to restore lymph node function.

“Being a certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence means that we can offer our patients multiple defenses against cancer,” says Dr. Stephen P. Ray, Medical Director of the Breast Center and Oncoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

“This certification demonstrates that we not only offer compassionate care and innovative treatments, but also that our patients can rest easy knowing that our medical staff is held to high standards of quality,” Dr. Ray adds.

Cancer Types
Our Doctors