HIPEC (Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy) Surgery in Mumbai
Some sorts of cancers are extremely difficult to cure. Cancer that has extended to the lining areas of the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity from colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, appendiceal cancer, ovarian cancer or pseudomyxoma and mesothelioma is called as peritoneal carcinomatosis. This is one form of cancer that is difficult to treat.
Despite huge advances in the process of chemotherapy, there are still side effects of this process that are difficult for patients to endure. However, when such types of cancers spread to the peritoneal cavity, the only treatment option available is HIPEC or HyperthermicIntraperitoneal Chemotherapy.
What is HIPEC?
HIPEC, known as Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy is an extremely concentrated, chemotherapy treatment delivered to the abdomen during surgery. The treatment is used to cure cancers like those of
- Primary peritoneum,
- Pseudomyxoma peritoni
- Peritoneal mesothelioma
It is an alternative to the conventional chemotherapy process. Unlike the traditional chemotherapy process, HIPEC is a good option to cure cancers that have originated and spread to the abdominal cavity.
The radiation and chemotherapy treatments offer limited success to cure abdominal cancers. Hence, patients seek this alternative to get rid of this life-threatening ailment eventually.
What is the HIPEC Procedure?
Before patients are offered the HIPEC treatment, doctors conduct cytoreductive surgery to remove any visible tumours in the abdomen. This surgery is performed with various surgical methods. Once the visible tumours are removed, the next step is to deliver HIPEC to the region.
This is done by supplying heated, sterilized chemotherapy solution to the abdomen so that it penetrates deeply and destroys the remaining cancer cells. The solution is around 41 to 42 degree Celsius, which is the temperature of a warm water bath. This process removes all small tumours, which are not visible during the surgery process. It is because of the chemotherapy solution circulated within the abdomen, enabling it to reach to all the places.
The aim of HIPEC is to prevent tumour cells from growing into new tumours that can cause cancer to recur. It is an ideal treatment for patients suffering from advanced surface spread cancer within the abdomen, without the involvement of the disease in other body parts.
What are the Advantages of HIPEC Process?
Some of the prominent benefits of HIPEC process are:
- This procedure allows for a better concentration of chemotherapy to be offered into the abdomen more safely and effectively as compared to standard chemotherapy, which is offered intravenously.
- Chemotherapy offered through HIPEC process causes less side effects as compared to intravenous chemotherapy. It is because of high concentration levels of chemotherapy solution that does not cross the peritoneal plasma barrier.
- This form of chemotherapy is the best process to kill cancer cells, which are too small(microscopic) in size and are not visible to the naked eye.
- The chemotherapy process alone is not as effective as HIPEC
- Improves absorption of chemotherapy and susceptibility of the cancer cells.
- The benefits of this process are associated with the surgical resection of a tumour By extracting them, it is possible to prevent severe consequences from occurring like obstruction of malignant bowel movement, the formation of ascites or intra-abdominal fluid.
What to Expect Before HIPEC Process?
Typically, patients who are suffering from abdominal cancer of stage IV are ideal for the HIPEC treatment. Since, the radiation and traditional chemotherapy processes offer limited success to cure abdominal cancers, so such patients are offered the HIPEC process.
Basic Lab tests, CT Scan/PET CT Scan, Tumour markers depending on the type of cancer may be advised by the Consulting doctor
Preoperative anesthesia fitness is required before the procedure.
The success of the HIPEC Process
The success of the HIPEC process depends on the type of cancer and spread of disease at the time of the surgical process. The success rate also depends on the complete debulking surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions about HIPEC
Q. Does HIPEC deliver the same side effects as offered by other types of chemotherapy processes?
A. There is extremely less systemic infiltration of the chemotherapy process; hence the conventional side-effects are not much visible. Most of the effects are associated with debulking, which is the surgical part of removing the tumor, known as cytoreduction.
Q. Is the HIPEC process used to cure Bladder Cancer?
A. Presently, the HIPEC process is not suggested to treat bladder cancer as a whole. But it can be used in some special cases. This can be identified only after a proper diagnosis.
Q. Is HIPEC used to treat Colon Cancer?
A. Yes, HIPEC is ideal to cure colon cancer, which has spread to different areas of the abdominal cavity. The surgery length depends on the spread of the disease and is variable.
Q. Is the device used in the HIPEC process safe?
A. It is essential for surgeons to use only FDA-approved surgical equipment to cure this disease. It is essential to maintain optimal temperature levels. Besides this, the core body temperature of the patient must regularly be monitored to identify any fluctuations.
The success of the HIPEC process depends on the types of diseases cured with it. But in patients suffering from invasive cancers, like gastric, colon, or adenocarcinomas, it is always wise to combine the HIPEC process with chemotherapy. Combining the processes is great to go ahead and treat the diseases at once. However, it is possible to see the benefit of the HIPEC process only after optimal cytoreduction. To avail the best results, make sure you select a HIPEC center wisely. Additionally, make sure the surgeon is experienced, skilled, and certified to perform such surgeries.
Dr. Amit Gandhi is a specialist oncologist in Mumbai and has a deep interest in HIPEC procedures. He has been performing it successfully for the last 10 years at his Cansure Cancer Hospital in Mumbai.