St Lukes Offers Laparoscopic Procedure to Treat Pre-Cancers and Early-Stage Esophagheal Cancer
St. Luke’s University Hospital Offers Laparoscopic Procedure to Treat Pre-Cancers and Early-Stage Esophagheal Cancer
Surgeons Perform Minimally-Invasive Thorascopic and Laparoscopic Esophagectomy
Bethlehem, PA (8/1/2012) - St. Luke’s University Hospital-Bethlehem is now offering a potentially life-saving and minimally-invasive surgical procedure to remove high-grade dysplasia, or pre-cancerous tissue, and early-stage cancers of the esophagus.
Thoracic surgeons Matthew Puc, MD, FACS and William Burfeind, MD, FACS, and surgical oncologists Roderick Quiros, MD, FACS, and Darius Desai, MD, FACS are now performing thorascopic and laparoscopic esophagectomy through a series of keyhole incisions in the abdomen and chest without compromising the completeness of the cancer operation. The traditional open procedure requires a large incision in the abdomen or chest.
"A minimally-invasive esophagectomy allows for a potentially quicker recovery from a major procedure, while still being a high-quality cancer operation,” says Dr. Puc.
During the laparoscopic procedure, a small video camera is introduced through a keyhole incision in the patient so the surgeons can clearly view the surgical instruments being used along with the patient’s anatomy. The technique is known as video-assisted thorascopic surgery or VATS, when it is done in the chest.
While patients having the laparoscopic approach are still required to remain in the hospital to take a swallowing test six days after surgery to assure the success of the operation, patients typically experience a lot less pain, given that the incisions used are much smaller than the conventional open incision. This minimally invasive approach can lead to faster healing, fewer complications and less risk of infection.
St. Luke’s uses a true multidisciplinary team approach to treat these cancers with both fellowship-trained surgical oncologists and thoracic surgeons evaluating each case and performing the surgeries to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Signs or symptoms of esophageal cancer may include long-standing reflux disease and difficulty swallowing. “It’s important not to ignore the symptoms,” says Dr. Quiros. “People experiencing anything unusual should be evaluated so cancer can be caught early. To be appropriate for either the open or laparoscopic procedure, there must be no evidence of metastatic disease.”
Sue Ross, Director, Marketing & Public Relations
St. Luke’s University Health Network