Expert at a wide variety of today's most effective surgical procedures, our surgeons are part of a progressive culture that works to refine existing techniques and to add new ones to our cancer-fighting capabilities. At times working hand-in-hand with the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital Radiation Oncology Department, our surgeons are an important part of a dynamic, collaborative approach to treatment that is dedicated to one purpose: constantly raising the quality of cancer care that we offer our patients.
Just take a look at some of the sophisticated surgical procedures offered at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital:
Ever committed to bringing the most advanced procedures and technologies to our patients, surgeons at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital are also experts in procedures for other cancers, including:
|Head and Neck
Bringing their precise skills to our patients, our radiation oncologists and surgeons are vital members of our cancer care team, fighting cancer with uncommon expertise and talent.
OBSTETRIC AND GYNECOLOGICAL LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY
Whether removing tumors or performing biopsies or other tests, physicians in our Short Stay Unit at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital are experts in laparoscopic surgery. This sophisticated surgery makes use of a laparoscope and microsurgical instruments to view, diagnose and/or treat problems surrounding the reproductive organs.
The long, thin, flexible laparoscope contains fibers and a series of magnifying glasses that shine light inside the body, enabling physicians to perform procedures previously done only with open surgery. Eliminating all the associated risks and costs of traditional surgery, laparoscopic surgery is a short stay procedure in which patients are usually home and resuming normal activities that same day.
For patients with prostate cancer, Wilkes-Barre General Hospital now offers several surgical treatments, depending on the exact stage and location of the disease.
When appropriate, Radioactive Seed Implant (RSI) is a safe and highly effective means of treating localized prostate cancer. Increasingly, our patients are taking advantage of this advanced procedure, which is offered collaboratively by our Radiation Oncology and Urology Departments.
With RSI, small, rice-sized radioactive seeds are placed inside the prostate. The radiation that's released is directed at the cancer, leaving healthy tissue intact. Side effects are minimal and patients can perform normal life activities during treatment.
When RSI is deemed inappropriate by physicians, surgeons turn to traditional treatment modalities, including suprapubic prostatectomy, retropubic prostatectomy, and perineal prostatectomy, in which surgeons make an incision in the perineal area to remove the prostate. The latter procedure eliminates the need for any abdominal incisions or scarring and is the preferred procedure when appropriate.
SKIN CANCER SURGERY
It's the world's most common cancer and its incidence continues to rise. In America alone, over 700,000 people will develop skin cancer this year. While basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common forms, malignant melanoma is the most life-threatening form of skin cancer.
Thankfully, regardless of what type or stage of skin cancer a patient presents, skilled plastic surgeons are prepared to fight the disease with precision. They also provide cosmetic and reconstructive surgery when necessary.
SENTINEL NODE BIOPSY
Wilkes-Barre General Hospital surgeons now perform Sentinel Node Biopsy, an advanced procedure that determines whether or not cancer cells have spread to a patient's lymph nodes. This same-day procedure is less invasive than conventional biopsies – and it's extraordinarily effective.
During the procedure, a small amount of radioactive blue dye is injected into the suspected cancerous region. This dye is monitored on its path to the sentinel lymph node. Once there, a small incision is made and the node is removed for examination. This examination reveals if further dissection or other therapy is warranted.
This highly effective process is frequently used for detecting skin and breast cancer. Previously, breast cancer patients typically underwent the removal of 10 to 15 lymph nodes under the arm, which often caused lymphedema, a painful swelling of the area. There is no such pain with sentinel node biopsy.
Every year, more than 15,000 Americans are diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Now, in order to fight it more effectively, Wilkes-Barre General Hospital has adopted an innovative approach that combines surgery and drug treatment. As a result, patients have an excellent prognosis.
In the past, surgeons removed the entire thyroid gland; however, today, a small incision is made in the central neck, and only the cancerous part of the thyroid is removed. Then, if necessary, drug treatment known as radioactive iodine therapy is utilized. This innovative treatment enables the iodine to be absorbed into the remaining thyroid cells, where it concentrates without harming other cells in the body.