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 surgeries, including:

  • 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
  • Neurosurgery

Endoscopic Surgery

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

Da Vinci RobotAt 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 digestive tract.