Hipec Treatment Overview
What is HIPEC?
Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a highly concentrated, heated chemotherapy treatment that is delivered directly to the abdomen during surgery. The procedure treats tumors in the abdominal (peritoneal) lining that stem from colon, gastric, ovarian, appendix tumors, mesothelioma and other cancers.
Unlike systemic chemotherapy delivery, HIPEC delivers chemotherapy directly to cancer cells in the abdomen. This allows for higher doses of chemotherapy treatment. Heating the solution may also improve the absorption of chemotherapy drugs and destroy the microscopic cancer cells that are remaining in the abdomen after surgery. The operation is performed under general anesthesia and lasts for about 6-9 hours depending on its complexity.
HIPEC is a novel technique in which those abdominal malignancies are treated which were previously thought to be untreatable and were only offered palliative care. The indication of HIPEC is therefore very specific and it is meant for those cancer cases of abdomen in which the disease has spread only inside the abdomen and not through the blood or lymphatic. In these patients, the cancer is seen in the form of sand like particles over the inner layer of the abdominal cavity called as the peritoneal sheath. Such type of spread is usually seen in the following cancers:
- 1.Primary peritoneal cancer
- 2.Ovarian cancer
- 3.Appendicular cancer
- 4.Pseudomyxoma peritonei
- 5.Colorectal malignancy
- 6.Some of Pancreatic and Gastric cancers
How does it work?
Before the patients receive HIPEC treatment, we perform cytoreductive surgery to remove visible tumors within the abdomen. Once all the tumors are removed, the heated, sterilized chemotherapy solution (with a temperature between 41-43 degrees celsius) is delivered to the abdomen for approximately 1 ½ hours to penetrate and destroy remaining cancer cells. Thereafter, the solution is drained from the abdomen and incision is closed.