What is HIPEC?
Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a pharmacological treatment that is complemented by surgical debulking (removal of as much of the tumor as possible) for the treatment of peritoneal carcinomatosis, which forms in the lining tissue of the abdominal organs. This surgery is usually performed under epidural anesthesia.
Why is HIPEC performed?
The use of HIPEC is indicated for stage III/IV epithelial ovarian carcinomas, colorectal cancer, gastric cancer and peritoneal sarcomatosis, among others. The treatment is indicated for patients with an acceptable general state of health, that is to say, those who have not developed extra-abdominal metastasis and who do not have a very high carcinomatosis index.
What does HIPEC consist of?
The surgery consists of removing the tumor and perfusing the entire abdominal cavity for one hour with the administration of chemotherapy drugs, which have an antitumor effect.
Preparation for HIPEC
Chemotherapy usually has to be administered before the operation, as it is difficult to eradicate all the tumor cells present by surgery alone. It should be borne in mind that the smaller the amount of tumor, the better the procedure and that tumors that respond to pretreatment (chemosensitive) have better results than those that do not.
In general, it is recommended to administer chemotherapy both before and after the operation so that the tumor responds better to treatment. There are cases in which the operation is performed twice due to the high tumor burden and the impossibility of completely removing the tumor with a single surgery.