Cancer Program


New Orleans Surgery for Cancer Treatment

Advanced surgical treatment options

For most patients, surgery is the foundation of cancer treatment. It can be used on its own or combined with other treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Cancer surgery may be used for any of the following:

  • Diagnosis: Your doctor may use a form of cancer surgery to remove (biopsy) all or part of a tumor—allowing the tumor to be studied under a microscope to determine whether it is cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign).
  • Staging: Through surgery, your doctor can determine what stage your cancer has progressed to. He or she will also be able to determine the size of any tumors and determine where the cancer has spread to.
  • Treatment: Patients with tumors will most likely undergo surgery to have the tumor removed – especially if your doctor does not believe that the disease has spread.
  • Debulking: When a cancerous tumor cannot be entirely removed, your doctor may perform debulking to remove part of it.
  • Easing symptoms and side effects: Surgery might be used simply to reduce pain or improve your quality of life.

Conventional cancer surgery used for any of these purposes often requires a large incision. However, there are less invasive options available that may be suited for the surgery you require.

Minimally invasive surgery

Less invasive surgery often comes with less pain and shorter recovery times than conventional surgery. Depending on your doctor’s goals regarding your surgery and the type and stage of your cancer, a minimally invasive option could be used.

Some of the most common minimally invasive surgeries include:

  • Laser surgery: Using a beam of strong light to remove affected tissue
  • Cryosurgery: Using liquid nitrogen to freeze cancerous cells
  • Microscopically controlled surgery: Used for skin cancer; involves shaving off layers of cancer one at a time
  • Laparoscopic surgery: Creates small incisions in the skin with a thin tube equipped with a camera.

Do I need surgery?

All patients are different – your doctor may or may not recommend surgery depending on the type of cancer you have, the stage of your cancer, and whether your cancer has spread. Some cancers – such as blood cancer – cannot be treated surgically as there is no physical mass to operate on. Cancers that have spread to multiple locations within your body may not be effectively treated with surgery either.

Whether or not you undergo surgery will ultimately depend on the condition you’re in and how your cancer progresses. Rest assured that the cancer surgeons at Touro are experts in their field with years of experience performing their respective operations. Our team can handle your procedure with care should you have to undergo surgery.