Torrance Memorial Cancer Care


Depending on the type of cancer, tumor size, and location in the body, surgery to remove a malignant lesion can offer the best and most immediate impact toward a successful cancer recovery. Our highly trained and expertly skilled surgeons provide optimal care using leading technology in our state-of-the-art surgical department.

The Cancer Institute surgeons have expertise in a wide variety of surgeries including breast surgery, reconstructive surgery, abdominal surgery for gynecologic malignancies, surgery of the digestive tract, prostate surgery, thoracic surgery, head and neck surgery, surgery for cancer of the urinary tract, neurosurgery, among others. In addition to removing cancer, the other goal of surgery is to minimize adverse side effects and preserve or restore function.

Laparoscopic surgery, or the use of a thin metal tube that contains a light and other instruments to facilitate careful tissue manipulation and removal, is done through one or more small incisions, typically in the abdomen. A laparoscope offers the surgeon a two-dimensional view of the surgical area. Laparoscopic surgery is the preferred treatment for several types of cancer because these techniques offer effective treatment with reduced invasiveness which typically results in a speedier recovery.

The da Vinci® Surgical System

The da Vinci® Surgical System offered by Torrance Memorial gives patients access to the latest and least invasive surgical device available. This computer robotic-assisted system is typically used in procedures treating prostate and gynecological cancers. Employing 3D imaging, pivots at the site of small incisions, and microscopic instruments, the da Vinci System is more precise than traditional laparoscopic or open surgeries.

The system allows your surgeon to perform complex procedures to remove your cancer while avoiding damage to the sensitive tissues surrounding the tumor or incision area. This results in far less blood loss and reduces post-surgery pain or discomfort. The system is not computer controlled or programmed. Your surgeon makes every decision and controls all maneuvers of the system during surgery.

Torrance Memorial has developed printed information to help patients and their loved ones with understanding robot-assisted radical prostatectomy-- click here to view. This patient/family printed information is also available in Spanish and Japanese by call the Cancer Resource Center at (310) 517-4665.

Pre-Operative Preparation

Prior to the day of your surgery, patients at Torrance Memorial typically undergo pre-operative testing. These tests determine your baseline health and aid surgeons in making decisions during the procedure.

To save time and help the day of surgery go smoothly, pre-registration is available and recommended. This pre-registration is available by phone from about 10 days before surgery up to the evening before your surgery date. As part of the pre-registration process, be sure you understand where you are to report on the day of surgery.

On the day of your surgery, wear loose, comfortable clothes and leave all valuables such as jewelry at home. When you arrive at the hospital, check in either at Admitting in the lobby of the Lundquist Tower or Day Surgery on the first floor of the West Wing (unless you are undergoing breast surgery and have been instructed to report to the Breast Diagnostic Center.) In the pre-op area you will be prepped for surgery by registered nurses and meet with your surgical team.

Surgical Recovery

Following surgery, your safety and comfort are paramount while you recover from anesthesia. Recovery room nurses specifically trained to find the first signs of complications and pain carefully monitor all post-surgery patients. These nurses are certified in adult and pediatric cardiac life support. Also, all operating room staff undergo continuing education from a dedicated operating room instructor for both OR and post-anesthesia care.

Once you have been favorably recovered, you are moved to an inpatient unit for your hospital stay or, in the case of outpatient surgery, transferred to the pre-discharge area for release to your friends and family to recover at home.

Whether your surgery can be done as an outpatient, or requires an overnight hospital stay, before discharge all surgery patients and their loved ones are given printed discharge instructions, information on pain management, and a plan for folllow-up with the surgeon in his or her office.

Inpatient Care

Most cancer patients who need to stay overnight in the hospital are transferred to 7 West Lundquist Tower Lemkin Pavilion from the Recovery Room. The 7 West Lundquist Tower Lemkin Pavilion is a dedicated inpatient oncology unit with large private rooms and staff specifically trained to meet the needs of cancer patients. The 7 West Lundquist Tower Lemkin Pavilion is staffed with certified oncology nurses and a support team trained to control cancer symptoms and facilitate recovery. These members of your care team provide the care needed to speed your recovery from surgery and provide the teaching you and your family will need to take you safely home as soon as possible.