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Is Smaller Better? Minimally Invasive Oncologic Surgery Options Discussed at NCCN Conference
Date:3/13/2009

Minimally-invasive oncologic surgery procedures can be beneficial, but physicians need to be prudent when recommending the option to their patient according to Thomas A. D'Amico, MD, of Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. D'Amico detailed the benefits and controversies of minimally invasive alternatives as well as emerging techniques including natural orifice surgery at the NCCN 14th Annual Conference.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla., March 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cutting-edge surgery with less cutting is appealing for many, but how do minimally invasive surgical offerings rate in terms of outcomes for people with cancer? At the National Comprehensive Cancer Network's 14th Annual Conference, Thomas A. D'Amico, MD, of Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center discussed the pros and the cons of minimally invasive oncologic surgery alternatives.

Dr. D'Amico acknowledged the tremendous technological advances that have resulted in minimally invasive offerings, but emphasized three guidelines that physicians need to be aware of when presenting the option to patients; the minimally invasive option must be oncologically equivalent or superior to the open procedure, the procedure should offer quality of life outcome advantages, and cost effectiveness needs to be considered.

Five minimally invasive procedures for oncologic surgery including robotic prostatectomy, laparoscopic colectomy, laparoscopic adrenalectory, minimally invasive esophagectomy, and thoracoscopic lobectomy were presented by Dr. D'Amico. In each procedure, he provided a comparison of the minimally invasive option versus the traditional open approach to surgery noting operating time, cost, recovery rates, length of stay, and oncologic outcomes.

Overall, the benefits to the minimally invasive options were a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, and less pain. However, except for the thoracoscopic lobectomy, ther
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SOURCE National Comprehensive Cancer Network
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