Pancreatic cancer remains a difficult problem. While surgery is the mainstay of treatment, adjuvant therapy (additional cancer treatment given after the primary treatment) has been documented to provide modest benefits in survival. Despite optimal surgery, only 10 to 20 percent of the patients are alive in five years.
The treatment of pancreatic cancer depends on the extent of the disease. The extent of cancer can be divided into the following three categories:
- Localized: The cancer is completely confined within the pancreas.
- Locally advanced: The cancer has extended from the pancreas to involve nearby blood vessels or organs.
- Metastatic: The cancer has spread outside the pancreas to other parts of the body.
Pancreatic Cancer Surgery at MVH
Robotic surgery has successfully addressed the limitation of traditional laparoscopic surgery. In contrast to the awkward positions that are required for laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon is seated in an ergonomic and comfortable position at the robotic console which reduces the surgeon’s physical burden.
Instead of a flat, 2-dimensional image obtained through the traditional laparoscopic camera, your surgeon receives a highly magnified, 3-dimensional view. This view enhances depth perception and increases surgical precision. Another advantage is that the surgeon has complete control of the camera.
Manipulation of robotic arm instruments improves range of motion (360 degrees) allowing your surgeon to perform more complex movements and access hard to reach areas.
Specifically robotic technology offers obvious advantages in pancreatic surgery by enabling more precise dissection and superior suturing along major vessels which allows for spleen-preservation when possible. This results in:
- Decreased blood loss
- Better lymph node dissection (pulling apart)
- Less conversion rate
- Less surgical trauma
Learn more about pancreatic cancer treatment options at Miami Valley Hospital.
At Miami Valley Hospital, we specialize in hepato-biliary and pancreatic surgery, offer curative surgery and multi-modality therapy for locally advanced pancreatic cancers. These complex cases are managed by a team of experts representing the fields of surgery, gastroenterology, radiation oncology, and interventional radiology.
MVH Cancer Program continues to offer postoperative radiation therapy, with or without chemotherapy, in the appropriate good performance status patients. This recommendation is supported by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines.