Gallbladder removal, or cholecystectomy, is the most common operation in the United States, with more than 400,000 undertaken every year. Even though gallbladder surgery is commonly performed by general surgeons, it matters where patients have this particular operation done. Dr. Sucandy provides distinct advantages to patients who require gallbladder surgery, whether it is for gallstones or for cancer.
Checking for Presence of Gallbladder Cancer During a Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Utilizing a quick pathological examination (Frozen section)
Whenever a patient has a tumor or part of an organ system surgically removed, it is a routine practice to check for presence of cancer. In the vast majority of hospitals, this is done after the cholecystectomy, when the removed tissue is sent to the hospital’s pathology department. A specialist called a pathologist looks at various cross sections of the tissue under a microscope to study whether or not cancer cells are present. In such a setup, patients with gallbladder cancer usually learn of their diagnosis about 1-2 weeks after their cholecystectomy. If cancer cells are found within the gallbladder specimen, then a diagnosis of gallbladder cancer is made. In this case, the patients will most likely require further operation in the form of liver resection and removal of regional lymphnodes from the surrounding tissues.
In most cases, patients must wait days or even weeks until they recover from the initial cholecystectomy prior to undergoing further operation. This time gap is deleterious since the cancer cells continue to grow with less defense from the immune system, which may be significantly attenuated by the first operation.
Dr. Sucandy have extensive experience in treating cancers of the digestive tract, including gallbladder cancer. As soon as he removes the gallbladder during a routine laparoscopic cholecystectomy – a common treatment for gallstones – Dr Sucandy opens up the gallbladder while still in the operating room to make sure it looks normal without presence of a tumor mass. If gallbladder tissue looks is if it may contain cancer, Dr. Sucandy sends the gallbladder specimen for frozen section to the pathology department to have it examined immediately.
From Routine Cholecystectomy to Gallbladder Cancer Surgery (Liver Resection and Removal of Regional Lymphnodes)
If pathological examination results that patient has gallbladder cancer, then Dr. Sucandy performs the gallbladder cancer surgery (liver resection and removal of regional lymphnodes) right away while the patient is still under anesthesia. This is a one-stop treatment. This not only saves time in treating cancer, bringing a peace of mind but most importantly, the patients are spared a second, separate surgery and recovery.
While the Gallbladder Cancer surgery is performed via traditional ‘open’ operation on other hospitals, Dr. Sucandy performs this operation routinely via minimally invasive robotic technique. The da Vinci robot really facilitates removal of one, some or all of the lymph nodes near the gallbladder as well as the portion of the liver to which the gallbladder was connected. Dr Sucandy has performed more than 500 robotic liver surgery for many types of liver, bile duct, and gallbladder diseases, which significantly eases the postsurgical recoveries.
It is important to seek medical care from the state-of-the-art robotic liver surgeon who has the high-level expertise required to offer complex surgery for the gallbladder cancer in a minimally invasive fashion.
February is the gallbladder and biliary/bile duct cancer month. World Cholangiocarcinoma Day is an international effort to raise much-needed awareness of cholangiocarcinoma, a devastating cancer that occurs in the gallbladder and bile ducts in or outside the liver.