Surgical Oncology

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Surgical Techniques

UW Medicine surgeons are nationally and internationally respected doctors who offer exceptional surgical and follow-up care to patients and their families. They are on the leading edge, using the newest techniques and advancing cancer care by improving diagnosis and treatment. Our surgeons also conduct research to increase medical knowledge and improve treatment results for all patients.

Surgical techniques used to remove cancer include:
  • Minimally invasive surgery, such as laparoscopic surgery, done through small incisions in the abdomen, and endoscopic surgery, done through a natural body opening
  • Robot-assisted surgery, in which the surgeon uses a robotic device such as the da Vinci Surgical System to perform very precise, complex motions
  • Open surgery, in which the surgeon makes a large incision to access the tumor
In this section, we also discuss other ablative techniques (methods of removing or destroying tissue) used in cancer care, including:
  • Laser surgery, which vaporizes cells
  • Radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat to kill cells
  • Irreversible electroporation, which uses electrical current to make holes in cells