HIPEC Surgery

After being diagnosed with abdominal cancer, it is imperative patients understand the full range of treatment options in front of them. One type of treatment that can prove especially effective is HIPEC surgery.

This powerful treatment is known to be one of the most effective for patients with colorectal cancer. Read on to discover more about HIPEC surgery and what makes a good candidate for the treatment.

What is HIPEC surgery?

HIPEC (Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy) is an advanced type of procedure that combines chemotherapy and surgery. It is ideal for those in the later stages of cancer, where the disease has spread to the peritoneum inside the abdomen.

Usually used to treat patients with colorectal or appendix cancer, HIPEC can also work well for other forms such as ovarian cancer, gastric cancer, and various types of sarcomas.

Alongside chemotherapy, cytoreductive surgery is performed to remove any visible cancer tumours. The organs affected may also be removed if needed. Once the tumours have been removed, a heated sterile solution containing chemotherapy is circulated throughout the peritoneal cavity. This helps to kill off any remaining cancer cells.

As the chemotherapy is delivered directly to the affected area, it reduces exposure to the rest of the body. It also means that patients aren’t always exposed to the same level of side effects as traditional chemotherapy.

Determining if you are an ideal candidate

HIPEC treatment can be highly effective, but it isn’t suitable for everyone. Here are some of the things that your doctor will look at to determine if you are an ideal candidate:

Your medical fitness

You will need to be physically fit to withstand the procedure. HIPEC treatment can take up to 10 hours or more to complete, placing a major strain on the body. Therefore, your age, state of health and physical fitness will be considered to determine whether you are strong enough to undergo the surgery. Not only that, but the fitter you are, the better the recovery will be after surgery.

Is the tumour removable?

Not all tumours can be removed via HIPEC. The treatment is best used against transabdominal spread. This is where the cancer has spread to other areas of the abdomen. If it has spread to the lymph nodes, or through the bloodstream, HIPEC might not be suitable.

Imaging tests will be carried out to determine where the tumours are located. During the surgery, only cancer cells that measure less than 2.5 millimetres in diameter will be left behind. This ensures the chemotherapy can successfully kill them off.

Is HIPEC right for you?

Every patient will be a unique case, so HIPEC will prove effective for some patients but not others. If the cancer has spread outside of the abdominal cavity, HIPEC will not be effective in treating all the cancer. For example, with pancreatic cancer, if the cancer has spread outside the pancreas, it would not remove all the cancer cells.

These are the general guidelines followed to determine if you will be a good candidate for HIPEC treatment. To find out if you are a suitable candidate for HIPEC, book an appointment with Professor Jamie Murphy today.