Aggressive surgical removal of the bulk of the carcinoid tumors can lead to improved long-term survival. The aim is to remove more than 85-90 percent of all visible tumors.
It may be possible to remove just the tumor. In other cases, it may be necessary to remove part of an organ on which the tumor is growing or to remove all of the organ. Nearby lymph glands may need to be removed as well.
Surgeons at Roswell Park routinely use minimally invasive surgery with very small incisions whenever possible. This leads to shorter hospital stays, a decreased chance of wound infections and a decreased chance of lung infections such as pneumonia.
Even when part of the liver must be removed, about 25-30 percent of the procedures are done laparoscopically, using tiny incisions and a camera that allows the surgeon to view inside the abdomen. In other cases, a hybrid technique that uses laparoscopy along with longer incisions is used. Our surgeons are working to modify surgical procedures to make them less invasive, especially for the pancreas, bowel and liver.