Surgical Oncology Services at Drexel Surgery
Drexel Surgery's board-certified surgical oncologists focus on the diagnosis and management of patients with cancer. Our surgical oncologists rely on their expertise in a broad range of specialties and work with radiation oncologists and medical oncologists to create a comprehensive treatment plan that provides patients with the best outcomes possible.
Drexel's surgical oncologists perform the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques. These procedures use small incisions that result in less blood loss and pain, and typically require a shorter hospital stay. Often, these techniques allow the surgeon to save the organ or spare normal tissues that are close by. Minimally invasive procedures allow patients to return to their normal routine as quickly as possible.
When possible, we encourage our patients to participate in institutional and national trials of new drugs and procedures. Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive and thorough cancer care available.
Surgical Oncology Techniques
Anal sphincter preserving surgery
Anal sphincter preserving surgery is used on tumors that affect the lower portion of the rectum. This surgery helps selected patients to avoid a colostomy.
Chemoembolization is a two-step procedure. First, chemotherapy is delivered directly to the tumor using narrow tubes called catheters, which reach the treatment area using a tiny skin puncture. Next, embolization may be used to cut off blood supply to the tumor. This starves the tumor of oxygen and nutrients and at the same time, traps the anticancer drug at the treatment site, allowing for a greater therapeutic effect. Chemoembolization is often used for patients who have primary liver cancer or metastatic liver cancer that has spread to the organ from other areas of the body. This treatment may also be combined with surgery, radiation therapy, or radiofrequency ablation.
Cryosurgery is the use of extreme cold to destroy abnormal tissue.
Particle breast treatment
Particle breast treatment is a five-day treatment alternative to breast radiation for women with certain smaller, early-stage breast cancers. After lumpectomy, or the removal of the breast tumor, a balloon-tipped catheter is positioned into the surgical area. A radioactive seed is placed into the balloon and remains in place for ten minutes. The procedure is repeated twice a day, with a six-hour interval in between, for five days.
Radiofrequency ablation is an image-guided technique that uses heat to destroy cancer cells. A needle electrode is guided to the tumor and high frequency electrical currents are applied. Most often used to treat liver disease, this technique may be used in combination with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Robotic surgery is one of the most recent advances in minimally invasive surgery. Drexel surgeons apply this technology to a wide range of treatment areas, including the prostate, gastrointestinal system, and lung, among others. During robotic surgery, the use of the surgical robot helps our surgeons to operate with greater precision, leading to improved surgical outcomes.
Sentinel lymph node mapping therapy
Cancers Treated by Drexel Surgical Oncologists
The surgical oncology team at Drexel Medicine treats a variety of cancers with innovative approaches that are individualized to suit each patient.
Most adrenal tumors are not malignant cancers and many can be removed through laparoscopic surgery.
Surgery is a common form of treatment for breast cancer. During the procedure, our surgeons remove the tumor and some of the surrounding tissue, known as margins. After surgery, the margins are tested to see if the cancer has spread. The surgeon may also remove and examine lymph nodes to determine whether the cancer has spread to them, and to what extent.
If you require radiation after surgery, you may be eligible for brachytherapy, or internally-delivered radiation. This can be done through the SAVI procedure, which dramatically reduces treatment and recovery time. Eligibility for partial breast radiation with any device is based on a number of factors including age, tumor size, and lymph node involvement.
The management of patients with cancer of the esophagus requires a multidisciplinary approach. Treatment does not have to start with surgery. For certain patients, starting with chemotherapy and/or radiation before surgery may improve chances for survival.
Tumors that grow in the liver (hepatocellular cancer) and those that have spread to the liver from other sites (metastatic tumors) are targeted for removal or destruction. Drexel surgical oncology has special programs for patients with these tumors.
Surgery is the preferred treatment for eligible patients with cancer of the pancreas as well. Our surgeons are skilled in the performance of these technically demanding procedures. For patients who are not eligible for removal of the tumor, there are many other options for therapy.
Sarcoma is a broad classification for tumors affecting muscle, bone, blood vessels, nerves, fat, and connective tissue. These tumors range from benign (won't spread) to very aggressively malignant (often spread and affect other areas). The right approach for treatment is dependent on their location and what kind of tumor they are. Drexel's surgical oncologists are highly experienced in the treatment of sarcomas.
Surgery remains the preferred treatment for eligible patients with stomach cancer. Not every stomach cancer surgery involves removing the entire stomach. Leaving a part of the stomach makes it easier for the patient to thrive and gain weight after surgery.
Not all tumors found in the thyroid are cancerous or malignant, and many that are malignant are considered low risk. Drexel Surgery's treatment approach is tailored to each person's risk of recurrence.
Wilbur Bowne, MD
The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.