Best Cancer Surgeon Virginia

Sometimes, cancer treatment involves surgery. This could be the only treatment, or part of a more comprehensive treatment plan.

Either way, if you are battling cancer and require surgery, you want to ensure that you have the best cancer surgeon in Virginia. 

Cancer Surgery

Cancer surgery removes cancerous tumors and nearby tissue in an operation. The doctor who performs these surgeries is called a surgical oncologist, or cancer surgeon.

Surgery is the oldest cancer treatment and is still a very effective treatment for many types of cancer. There are several reasons you might need cancer surgery. Including:

  • To diagnose or locate cancer
  • To find out if cancer has spread to or is affecting other organs 
  •  To relieve side effects caused by your cancer
  • To remove some or all of a cancer
  • To restore the body’s appearance or function

Your surgery may be performed in a doctor’s office, surgery center, clinic, or hospital. This will depend on the type of surgery you need and how much time you will need to heal from it.

Inpatient surgery means that you will need to stay in the hospital overnight or longer to recover. On the contrary, outpatient surgery means there is no need for an overnight stay after the surgery.

Diagnostic Surgery

For most types of cancer, a biopsy is the most popular way to diagnose the cancer. A surgical biopsy involves the removal of some or all of the suspicious tissues. This may be done in two ways.

First, an incisional biopsy removes a piece of the suspicious area to study. The other option is an excisional biopsy. This removes the entire suspicious area, such a lump or mole. 

The biopsy is sent to a pathologist. This is a doctor who interprets lab tests and looks at cells, tissues, and organs to find disease. The pathologist will examine the tissue from your biopsy and send your oncologist a report to diagnose the tumor. 

Staging Surgery

Surgery can also be used to discover the size of the cancer and whether it has spread. This is often done through the removal of lymph nodes near the cancer.

These are tiny bean-shaped organs that help fight infection. Your care team will use the staging results to decide which treatment options are best for you. 

Primary Surgery

Also called curative surgery or tumor removal, this is the most common method of removing the tumor and nearby tissue. Removing the nearby healthy tissue is called the margin. Tumor removal may be the only treatment for your cancer, or it may be used in combination with other treatments like chemotherapy or radiation.  

Types of Cancer Surgery

  • Debulking. In cases where removing the entire tumor is not possible, the surgeon removes as much as possible. Then, radiation or chemotherapy are used to continue to treat the cancer. These treatments may also be used prior to surgery.
  • Palliation. Palliative surgery relieves side effects that are caused by a tumor. This is done to improve the patient’s quality of life. There are several types of palliative surgery. 
  • Reconstruction. After the main surgery is performed to remove a tumor, some people choose to have reconstructive surgery. This is used to restore the body’s function or appearance. In some cases, it may be performed at the same time as the tumor removal surgery. 
  • Prevention. Surgery may also be performed to lower the risk of getting cancer. For example, removing pre-cancerous polyps. Also, some women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancers, or cancer genes, may choose to undergo preventative surgery to remove the breasts or ovaries.

Minimally Invasive Cancer Surgery

While cancer surgery does often involve large incisions, sometimes the surgeon can use minimally invasive techniques. This means that instead of one large incision, the procedure is done using smaller incisions. This typically speeds up recovery times and reduces pain during recovery. Below are examples of minimally invasive procedures:

  • Laparoscopic Surgery. This is done using small incisions. A thin, lighted tube with a camera is inserted into one of these incisions and gives the surgeon a view. Other small surgical instruments are used to perform the procedure. This may also be done with the use of robotic assistance
  • Laser Surgery. This involves using a narrow beam of high-intensity light to remove cancerous tissue. 
  • Cryosurgery. Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze and kill abnormal cells. 
  • Endoscopy. A thing, flexible tube with a light and camera on the tip is inserted into the body to examine internal organs and retrieve samples of suspicious tissue for further examination.
  • Microscopically Controlled Surgery. Used in dermatology, a microscope is used to shave off a layer of skin cancer until the cells look normal.

Best Cancer Surgeon in Virginia

If you suspect that you might have cancer, or have been diagnosed with cancer and need surgery, make sure you choose the best cancer surgeon. The providers at Alagsa have the skill and experience to help you through this difficult process. Please contact us today to learn more.