Regional One Health’s new Surgical Oncology practice is led by national experts in the treatment of a variety of cancer diagnoses.
They use the latest technology to provide robotic and minimally invasive procedures that effectively treat cancer while protecting patients’ quality of life.
By offering a multidisciplinary team and exceptional resources, they are providing patient-focused care that provides optimal results.
When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, their first priority is finding treatment that can offer the best outcome while also protecting their quality of life. Regional One Health’s new Surgical Oncology practice brings together leading experts to deliver precisely that type of care.
Surgical oncologists perform robotic, minimally invasive and traditional procedures to remove cancerous tumors and surrounding tissue. At Regional One Health, they work alongside medical oncologists who provide chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, etc., as well as radiation oncologists. The goal is to put all the therapies a patient might need under one roof.
Martin Fleming, MD, FACS helped start the practice as Division Chief for Surgical Oncology at University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He said his team understands the worry patients and their families feel after a cancer diagnosis, and they’ve built their practice around the idea of helping patients get through a challenging time in their lives.
“Our goal is to support patients medically and emotionally through every step of their care,” Dr. Fleming said. “Surgical oncologists have a unique opportunity to address cancer in a way that protects quality of life during and after treatment. Our team is made up of fellowship-trained surgeons who are experts in a wide variety of cancer types, as well as nurses who specialize in surgical and follow-up care for cancer patients.”
Dr. Fleming and Miriam Tsao, MD are experts in breast cancer, melanoma/skin cancer, sarcoma, soft tissue cancer, adrenal cancer and retroperitoneal cancer. David Shibata, MD FACS, FASCRS and Elizabeth Wood, MD are colorectal cancer specialists, and Evan Glazer, MD, PhD, FACS is a leader in treating pancreatic, liver, biliary/gallbladder, neuroendocrine, adrenal, gastric/stomach, small bowel and spleen cancers.
They share a philosophy of approaching every patient as an individual so they can provide care customized to their diagnosis and their life.
Dr. Fleming said that starts with a multidisciplinary conference where cancer experts and other specialists review the patient’s diagnosis, stage and treatment options. Also called a “tumor board,” this approach is proven to promote innovation and make sure every therapy is considered in developing the most effective treatment plan.
When that plan includes surgery, Dr. Fleming and his fellow surgical oncologists identify the procedure that will not only best address the cancer, but provide the easiest recovery, fewest side effects, and least amount of risk.
“We talk to each patient and family about their options and what they can expect,” he said. “We believe cancer care is most effective when patients are engaged in their treatment and have the information they need to take charge of their health.”
For many patients, robotic procedures are an excellent option to provide highly targeted surgery while minimizing risk and recovery time.
Regional One Health utilizes the state-of-the-art Da Vinci XI system, which provides physicians three-dimensional views, exceptional instrument control, and expanded range of motion so they can perform extremely precise, targeted procedures that offer optimal clinical outcomes.
“These procedures require just a few small incisions,” Dr. Fleming said. “That means less risk of infection and blood loss and significantly less pain and scarring. We can discharge patients home much more quickly, and they typically experience a shorter and easier recovery.”
Robotic surgery is available for a variety of cancer types, including colorectal, liver, stomach, gynecological, head and neck, thoracic and urologic cancers.
Minimally invasive surgery, or targeted procedures performed by placing ports through small incisions, also offers shorter hospital stays, less pain and easier recovery. Surgeons use a variety of tools, cameras and ports to customize each surgery for the patient’s specific needs.
Dr. Fleming said the team also provides traditional surgery based on the guidelines established by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Because several of the surgical oncologists serve on the panels that establish NCCN standards of care, the practice has unique experience in terms of identifying the optimal traditional procedures for each patient’s diagnosis.
For every patient, Dr. Fleming said the goal is to provide skilled, compassionate care in inpatient and outpatient settings specifically designed to meet the needs of cancer patients.
“As a major health system and academic hospital, Regional One Health offers comprehensive resources as well as access to advanced therapies and clinical trials. Our surgical oncologists are leaders in utilizing those assets to provide targeted, patient-focused care that allows patients their best opportunity for a successful outcome,” he said.