City of Hope’s liver cancer team offers a variety of minimally invasive therapies, including laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery, and procedures that use imaging techniques such as CT and ultrasound to guide the delivery of treatments directly to the tumor site. These therapies are safe and effective in controlling liver cancer and extending survival. Many of these procedures may be used alone, with other minimally invasive therapies, or prior to surgery.
Minimally Invasive Surgery/ Laparocopic Surgery/ Robotic Surgery
When possible, our surgeons may use minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to remove liver tumors. In this procedure, doctors insert a thin, lighted tube with a camera on its tip through a tiny incision in the patient’s abdomen to remove tumors or, in selected cases, part of the liver. Our surgeons continue to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach in selected patients and its potential to reduce complications that can arise with traditional, open surgery. Having minimally invasive surgery can significantly reduce patient recovery time compared with traditional surgery.
In laparoscopic surgery, doctors make a tiny incision in the abdomen and insert a thin, lighted tube with a camera at the end, to get a clear picture of the liver, and remove tumors using special miniaturized instruments.
City of Hope is a world leader in robotic-assisted surgery. In this procedure a surgeon directs a specially-designed robot, equipped with a camera and miniature surgical tools. A sophisticated computerized imaging system provides real-time, three-dimensional views far superior to the surgeon’s eye alone. This system provides excellent results in complex and delicate operations, and the small incisions enable faster recovery.
Ablation destroys tumor cells without surgically removing them. In these procedures, the doctor inserts a thin, needle-like probe into the tumor and uses a variety of methods to eradicate tumor cells
Embolization shrinks tumors by blocking their supporting blood vessels. This can be done either with chemotherapy drugs or radioactive particles injected into the hepatic artery.