Surgeons practicing at Sacred Heart collaborate with the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center, Oregon Imaging Centers and other experts in cancer care to provide comprehensive treatment for all types of cancer. Surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and other specialists work together to meet each patient’s individual needs.
Our surgeons have access to breakthrough technologies such as digitally integrated “smart” operating rooms, da Vinci™ robotic-assisted surgery, endoscopic ultrasound with fine needle aspiration, the Gamma Knife for non-invasive brain surgery, and “stealth surgery” or image-guided neurosurgery that enables surgeons to operate with pinpoint precision for fewer complications and better outcomes.
Minimally invasive techniques
• Oncoplastic surgery combines surgical removal of breast cancer with breast reconstruction for better cosmetic outcomes for patients. Our surgeons also offer free flap breast reconstruction and other forms of reconstructive plastic surgery.
• MammoSite ™ 5-Day Targeted Radiation Therapy for breast cancer uses a balloon catheter to deliver directed radiation therapy over five days while minimizing radiation dose to skin surface and chest wall.
• Sentinel node biopsy allows surgeons to pinpoint, remove and study key lymph nodes, providing the opportunity for a more precise diagnosis and treatment plan. Because the procedure is less invasive than traditional dissection, it carries a lower risk of complications such as drainage, infection, swelling or nerve damage.
• Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a minimally invasive technique that offers more precise assessment of a patient’s lymph nodes to determine if lung cancer has spread to the rest of the body. Physicians use transbronchial needle aspiration to obtain tissue or fluid samples from the lungs and lymph nodes for diagnosis without conventional surgery.
• Video-assisted thoracic surgery uses advanced video technology and computers to perform operations that once required open large-incision thoracotomy. A thoracoscope transmits images from inside the chest to a video monitor, guiding the surgeon in the procedure.
• Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) delivers high doses of radiation to tumors of the lung with pinpoint accuracy to spare healthy tissue and reduce side effects.
• Rectal endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a minimally invasive way to stage cancer, explore its exact location, determine the depth of a tumor in the wall of the colon, assess if the cancer has spread to nearby nodes or organs, and determine the optimal course of treatment. EUS can also guide fine-needle biopsies.
• Chemoembolization for liver tumor delivers chemotherapeutic drugs to the tumor site through a catheter along with a blood vessel occluding agent to starve the tumor of its blood supply. The minimally invasive approach can slow or stop tumor growth and in some cases results in significant tumor shrinkage for patients who are not surgical candidates.
• Whipple surgery or pancreaticoduodenectomy removes cancer in the head of the pancreas or bile ducts, with reconstruction of the gastrointestinal tract. Surgeons at Sacred Heart were among the first to perform Whipple surgery using laparoscopic methods.
• Our team of fellowship-trained gynecologic oncology surgeons specializes in minimally invasive approaches to cancer care. Their excellent patient outcomes and high volumes attract patients from throughout Oregon and northern California.
Several times a month, a multidisciplinary team of cancer care providers gathers at Sacred Heart to discuss the hospital's most challenging cases. These tumor board meetings are opportunities for providers to discuss diagnoses, prognoses and treatment plans for complex cancer cases. See calendar here.
In 2009, about 500 cases were presented at tumor boards, representing about 650 physician hours.
In addition to the disease, the group addresses such issues as transportation, family and social support networks, and patient medical history. The goal is to treat the whole patient