For many types of cancer, surgery offers the best and most immediate opportunity
for a cure and full recovery. In addition to removing cancer, surgery
can also help minimize adverse effects and preserve or restore function.
At Torrance Memorial’s Hunt Cancer Institute, our highly trained
and skilled surgeons use leading technology in our state-of-the-art surgical
department to provide optimal care.
Our Cancer Institute surgeons have expertise in a wide variety of cancer
- Breast surgery
- Reconstructive surgery
- Abdominal surgery for gynecologic malignancies
- Surgery of the digestive tract
- Prostate surgery
- Thoracic surgery, including VATS (link)
- Surgery for cancer of urinary tract
What some call scarless surgery, some tumors of the gastrointestinal tract
can be completely removed and treated through the mouth or rectum. Small
or early cancers, particularly of the esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum
can be safely removed and cured without scars and with minimal recovery time.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
For people who need surgery for cancer or other conditions, laparoscopic
surgery offers many important advantages. Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally
invasive surgical technique in which surgical procedures are using telescopes
and small instruments through incisions only 5-10 millimeters wide.
For the surgeon, laparoscopic surgery provides better visualization and
greater precision. For the patient, this translates into less blood loss,
fewer infections of the wounds, reduced risk of getting a hernia in the
future and a less painful and more rapid recovery. These are key reasons
why it is often the preferred surgical approach.
State-of-the-Art Technology: The da Vinci Surgical System
At Torrance Memorial, our oncology surgeons often use the da Vinci ®
Surgical System. Also called the da Vinci robot, this advanced technology
takes the least invasive approach available. With 3-D imaging, the ability
to pivot at the site of small incisions, and microscopic, easy-to-manipulate
instruments, the da Vinci Surgical System offers greater visualization
and more precision than laparoscopic or open surgical techniques.
Surgeons who use the da Vinci Surgical System complete extensive training.
Throughout your procedure, your surgeon remains in complete control of
the system. It is not computer controlled or programmed.
Our da Vinci Surgical System enables surgeons to perform complex procedures
to remove cancer without damaging the sensitive tissues surrounding the
tumor or incision area. There is less bleeding, post-surgical pain and
discomfort so healing and recovery are faster and easier. These advantages
may be especially important for prostate and gynecological surgeries so,
here at Torrance Memorial, our surgeons often use the da Vinci system
to perform these procedures.
Learn More About da Vinci Surgical System
Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)
An advanced technology used in minimally invasive lung surgery (and most
particularly in early-stage lung cancer), video-assisted thoracic surgery
(VATS) features enhanced magnification and small instruments to enable
surgeons to perform lung procedures without opening the rib cage.
Patient benefits of VATS include:
- Less pain after the operation
- Better immune system response
- Better chance of breathing normally
- Better quality of life
The Whipple Procedure
The complex Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenoctomy), involving removal
of a portion of the pancreas, bile duct, gallbladder, duodenum and stomach,
requires a high level of skill, expertise and experience. For some patients
with early stage pancreatic cancer that has not spread to other parts
of the body, this procedure may offer a cure.
The goal of the Whipple procedure is full removal of the head of the pancreas
and its surrounding organs, which include the curve of the duodenum, half
of the stomach, the gall bladder, cystic duct, common bile duct and nearby
lymph nodes. Reconstruction preserves digestive function and allow passage
of digestive juices from the pancreas and bile from the liver into the