Surgical Oncology

surgical oncology

The primary mission for The Division of Surgical Oncology at the University of Minnesota is to provide state-of-the-art care for cancer patients.

Our surgeons evaluate and treat patients with a variety of benign and malignant diseases. Our board-certified surgeons all have specialized fellowship training and work in a multidisciplinary setting with other specialists to provide the latest treatments and innovations in surgical cancer care.

The Division is at the forefront of new research and technology for cancer patients. Our patients are offered the opportunity to participate in clinical research trials through the only National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Twin Cities.

Conditions We Treat

Our surgeons treat a variety of diseases including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Pancreas cancer
  • Liver tumors 
  • Gallbladder/bile duct tumors
  • Thyroid and parathyroid disease
  • Adrenal tumors
  • Melanoma
  • Sarcomas
  • Stomach cancer
  • Appendix cancer
  • Metastatic colorectal cancer

The faculty members not only perform advanced procedures, but they also create innovative treatments for cancer patients. 

Specialized cancer treatments include laparoscopic pancreas and liver resections, sentinel lymph node biopsy, skin- and nipple-sparing mastectomy, isolated limb infusion, radiofrequency ablation, laparoscopic adrenalectomy, robotic thyroidectomy, hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, and videoscopic femoral lymph node dissections.

Appendix Cancer

Appendix cancer is a rare cancer that affects both men and women. Risk factors and causes of appendix cancer are presently unknown. Appendix cancer frequently spreads to the lymph nodes and the lining of abdominal cavity (peritoneum). Often, patients have hundreds of small tumors throughout the abdomen. As a result, some patients may develop a large amount of thick fluid (ascites) within the abdomen.

The treatment options for patients with appendix cancer are often limited. In recent years, cytoreduction surgery combined with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) has been used to treat patients with advanced appendix cancer. For this treatment, patients undergo surgery to remove all the tumors, and then HIPEC is administered to treat any residual microscopic cancer.The surgical oncologists at the University of Minnesota have been performing HIPEC for more than 10 years and have published several research studies on this treatment.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota are actively studying the potential causes and risk factors of appendix cancer through the Betti Boers Maloney Appendix Cancer Research Fund. In addition, patients with appendix cancer and their families have established a Twin Cities support group to help patients with this difficult disease.