The Unit of General Surgical Oncology deals almost exclusively with neoplastic disease of surgical relevance.
Its main interest and activities consist in the treatment of cancers of the digestive system: including the stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, liver, biliary tract and pancreas. For these diseases, relative treatments follow the latest indications emerging from the most qualified internal experiences. Moreover, whenever necessary, integrated treatments are used, both post operative neoadjuvant therapies and precautions, in collaboration with the Operating Unit of Oncology and Radiotherapy.
The Unit also deals with endocrine surgery, particularly of the thyroid and parathyroid glands, by applying minimally invasive techniques and intraoperative PTH testing when indicated. In collaboration with the Unit of Interventional Radiology, the Unit also uses a PTH series testing with selective venous catheterization in patients with suspected intrathoracic parathyroid adenomas.
The Sarcoma Surgery Division- cancers of the connective tissue and bone – deals with a disease relatively rare and ubiquitous that requires specific skills and a multidisciplinary approach. The division’s large number of cases makes it one of the major surgical centers in the country in reference to this condition.
Another disease of particular interest to the Operating Unit is melanoma, which is associated with a broad multidisciplinary collaboration with the Operating Unit of Dermatology, Plastic Surgery and Oncology.
This Unit, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute of Milan, has started a peritoneum surgery program for primary tumors (mesothelioma and pseudomixomi) and peritoneal metastases(colorectal and ovarian carcinoma). These interventions are extremely long and complex and involve a demolition phase, followed by a endoabdominal perfusion of chemotherapy drugs at high temperatures (chemohyperthermia).
The Operating Unit is also specialized in the use of enteral and parenteral artificial nutrition in malnourished patients with intestinal insufficiency or digestive fistula. Moreover, innovative fast-track surgery protocols have been adopted. This method is characterized by a series of behaviors and therapies that aim to reduce operative stress by reducing fasting times and post operative pain, rapid mobilization and reduced hospital stays. These protocols have been validated internationally and can be applied to a large percentage of patients undergoing major surgery.
Clinical activities include ordinary hospital stay, day hospital and outpatient clinic visits with both a surgical oncology specialist (sarcoma, melanoma, thyroid and parathyroid glands, stomach, colorectal, liver, pancreas and the biliary tract) and that of a general surgeon (hernia surgery, bile duct lithiasis). There is also a clinic dedicated to the difficult wounds that require advanced medications to heal (VAC therapy, etc.) and a stoma clinic that stoma patients (colostomy and ileostomy) can go to for counseling with specialized nurses in order to resolve any specific problems they may be dealing with.
Scientific activities take place on a national and international levle and allow patients to participate in experimental treatment protocols.