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GI Oncology surgery

Laparoscopic Oncosurgery

What is gastrointestinal cancer?

Gastrointestinal cancer refers to a group of cancers that affect the gastrointestinal tract including the stomach, esophagus, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, biliary system, rectum, and anus. The symptoms of gastrointestinal cancer vary depending on the affected organ. Some of these symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, heartburn or indigestion, blood in the stool, anemia, poor appetite, and weight loss. Generally, the diagnosis requires an endoscopy or colonoscopy, followed by a biopsy of the sample tissue from the suspicious area. However, the treatment is dependent on the location of the tumor, the type of cancer, and the spread of the infection.

Types of gastrointestinal cancers

The increasing risk of gastrointestinal cancer can be attributed to unhealthy lifestyles such as regular smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, a diet which is high in sugar and salt, excessive weight gain, etc. There are different types of gastrointestinal cancers that can affect you. Some of the common ones are listed below: - Esophageal cancer: The sixth-most common cancer across the world, esophageal cancer occurs when malignant cancer cells are formed in the tissue of the esophagus. Often the condition is diagnosed in the advanced stages of the disease because it does not show any symptoms in the early stages.
- Stomach cancer: When cancer cells are formed on the walls of the stomach, it leads to stomach cancer. Though the growth of the cells initiates in the inner layer of the stomach, it can spread rapidly to the outer layers if not treated at the right time.
- Pancreatic cancer: Most cases of pancreatic cancer arise from exocrine cells which are responsible for secreting substances that help in digestion. It begins in the lining of the pancreatic duct but soon spreads into the body of the pancreas.
- Liver cancer: Typically, people are affected with liver cancer due to a prolonged Hepatitis B or C infection or because of liver cirrhosis due to excessive alcohol consumption. Liver cancer can cause yellowing of the skin or eyes, excessive itching, and/ or excess fluid formation in the abdomen. Some of the other types of gastrointestinal cancers include gallbladder cancer, colorectal cancer, anal cancer, gastrointestinal carcinoid tumour, neuroendocrine tumour, etc.

Gastrointestinal cancer treatment:

The treatment for gastrointestinal cancer depends on the stage or development of cancer, the type of cancer and the overall health condition of the patient along with his/her age and preferences. Surgery is the most common method for cancer treatment. Be it stomach cancer treatment, pancreatic cancer treatment, liver cancer treatment or any other form of gastrointestinal cancer treatment, surgery is the most preferred choice. Your doctor will always recommend surgical oncology to remove the affected tissues followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy both, during and after the surgery. However, in advanced stages where surgery is no longer possible, your doctor will still recommend chemotherapy and radiotherapy to control the spread of the infection.

What is surgical oncology?

Surgical oncology is a term that refers to the surgical treatment of cancerous tumours for the purpose of diagnosing, staging and treating the condition. For ages, surgery has been the only successful treatment for cancer. However, owing to the advancements in medical technology, several non-surgical modalities have emerged as a treatment for cancer. But the success rate of non-surgical procedures depends upon the type and the stage of cancer. Despite advancements in radiation oncology, surgical oncology is the only method with the highest potential to cure cancer patients. An oncology surgeon also performs surgeries as a palliative treatment for cancer patients to help control their pain, to manage any cancer-related side-effects or symptoms, and/or to increase their comfort level. Depending on the type of cancer, the location of the tumour and its size, your surgeon may opt for an open surgery or may use the robotic technology or the minimally-invasive laparoscopic technology.

Laparoscopic cancer surgery:

A cancer surgery that is performed using the laparoscope is called the laparoscopic cancer surgery. This minimally invasive procedure for treating cancer accounts for quicker recovery time and shorter hospital stay for the patient. It is performed by making small incisions (3-5 mm in size) in the abdomen and inserting a long, thin tube attached with a camera at its tip. The camera captures live visuals of the insides of the body to guide the surgeon when performing the surgery. As the wounds are small, the patient experiences less scarring and less pain in comparison to open surgery.

Can oncological surgeries be performed laparoscopically?

Surgical oncology is a term that refers to the surgical treatment of cancerous tumours for the purpose of diagnosing, staging and treating the condition. For ages, surgery has been the only successful treatment for cancer. However, owing to the advancements in medical technology, several non-surgical modalities have emerged as a treatment for cancer. But the success rate of non-surgical procedures depends upon the type and the stage of cancer. Despite advancements in radiation oncology, surgical oncology is the only method with the highest potential to cure cancer patients. An oncology surgeon also performs surgeries as a palliative treatment for cancer patients to help control their pain, to manage any cancer-related side-effects or symptoms, and/or to increase their comfort level. Depending on the type of cancer, the location of the tumour and its size, your surgeon may opt for an open surgery or may use the robotic technology or the minimally-invasive laparoscopic technology.

Types of Oncology surgery

Digestive system image
Digestive system image
Digestive system image
Digestive system image

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FAQs

What is GI cancer?

Any digestive system cancer in your body is referred to as gastrointestinal cancer or GI cancer. GI cancer can either occur in the upper gastrointestinal tract which includes the esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, gall bladder, etc. or in the lower gastrointestinal tract such as the small intestine, large intestine, colon, rectum, and anal canal. Often it is difficult to identify most of these cancers in the early stages because of fewer symptoms. However, if diagnosed at the right time, there are several surgical and non-surgical methods to treat the condition.

What is a PET Scan and why is it used?

PET (Positron emission tomography) is an imaging test that identifies any diseases in your body. The scan uses a dye containing radioactive tracers to scan your body. The dye is either consumed orally, or inhaled or even injected through your vein, depending upon what part of your body is being examined. The PET scan helps the doctor analyze whether all your organs and tissues are functioning well. Since a PET scan identifies problems at a cellular level, it is widely used by doctors and surgeons to diagnose the presence of malignant cancerous cells in the body.