Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, or HIPEC, is an innovative combination of surgery and chemotherapy used to treat certain types of cancer that have spread inside the abdomen or to the lining of the abdominal cavity, called the peritoneum. HIPEC aims to remove and destroy any cancer cells in the abdomen and reduce the risk that the cancer will come back.
The SLUCare surgical oncology team at SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital offers this advanced treatment as an option for our patients. If you’ve received the difficult diagnosis that you have advanced abdominal cancer, request a second opinion from our team today to learn if HIPEC is an option for you.
How HIPEC Works
HIPEC is performed in conjunction with surgery. During the intensive procedure, your surgeon will remove any visible tumors from your abdomen. Then, a heated chemotherapy solution is circulated throughout the abdomen for 30-90 minutes to kill any cancer cells that are too small to be seen, cells that if left behind, would start dividing after surgery and result in a recurrence of cancer.
Benefits of HIPEC
HIPEC may offer better results than chemotherapy alone for certain types of cancers. Benefits of the procedure include:
- Delivers chemotherapy to cells too small to be seen
- Boosts absorption of chemotherapy drugs with heat
- Allows delivery of a higher concentration of chemotherapy
- Minimizes the rest of the body’s exposure to chemotherapy
- Results in fewer side effects that chemotherapy delivered intravenously
Is HIPEC right for you?
The effectiveness of HIPEC depends on the origin of the cancer, the extent of the disease in the abdomen, and the overall of condition of each patient. Because the treatment is complicated, it requires a dedicated, multidisciplinary team approach to care. After a thorough evaluation, our experienced group of specialists will collaborate to determine how to achieve the best possible outcomes for each patient, including whether HIPEC is an appropriate option for you.
SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital is proud to offer one of the longest running HIPEC programs, so you can trust you’re in good hands when you come to us for cancer care. Request a second opinion from the SLUCare surgical oncology team today to learn how we would approach your treatment.