Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)

Our surgical oncologists expertly use HIPEC to treat cancer in the abdominal cavity, decreasing the risk of recurrence and improving survival.

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a two-step procedure to treat cancer that has spread inside the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity.

In the first step, the surgeon removes all visible signs of cancer. In the second step, a heated, concentrated chemotherapy solution is used to bathe the inside of the abdomen to eliminate residual cancer cells.

At Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Georgia's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, our team of skilled surgical oncologists perform more HIPEC procedures than anyone else in Georgia.

Winship offers HIPEC at several of our locations in the metro Atlanta area, each one providing the same level of eminent care, skill and support:

  • Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
  • Emory University Hospital Midtown
  • Emory University Hospital

Winship surgical oncologist Charles Staley, MD describes the HIPEC procedure.

Request an Appointment

Our HIPEC specialists are ready to help you. Call us at (404) 778-3307 to request an appointment. Our experts are also available to provide a second opinion.

Refer a Patient

Referring physicians, you or your staff may refer a patient by contacting us at (404) 778-3307.

What is HIPEC?

HIPEC is a surgical procedure used to flush out the abdominal cavity after your surgeon has removed all the visible tumors and diseased tissue. It is offering new hope for patients with certain abdominal cancers that in the past have been particularly difficult to treat.

How is HIPEC performed?

First, after you are under anesthesia, your surgeon makes an incision in your abdomen so they can see the tumors and diseased tissue. After removing the visible tumors and diseased tissue, your doctor will insert a catheter into your abdomen to pump in the chemotherapy solution. The catheter is connected to a perfusion machine that heats the medications to 108 degrees and flows them through your abdomen.

After 90 minutes, your surgeon will drain the chemotherapy solution from your abdomen and rinse it out with a salt solution. Your surgeon will then make any bowel connections or repairs, before closing your abdomen. The procedure can take from 6 to more than 12 hours, depending on how much the cancer has spread in your abdomen.

Which types of cancer are treated with HIPEC?

The HIPEC procedure may be used to treat any one of the following:

Who is eligible for HIPEC?

Your Winship care team will help you determine whether HIPEC will be helpful for you. It depends on where your cancer originated and how much the cancer has spread. For patients with early stage cancers, HIPEC can sometimes be performed through minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery which uses smaller incisions.

Why is HIPEC beneficial?

Unlike traditional chemotherapy methods, HIPEC infuses high doses of chemotherapy directly into your abdomen to maximize its effectiveness. The procedure has fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy because the chemotherapy drugs don't circulate throughout your entire body. The drugs' high temperature causes blood vessels to expand, allowing the medicine to penetrate more deeply. HIPEC also is more effective at killing cancer cells in the abdomen and can offer better long-term outcomes. It adds a valuable treatment option for some patients whose cancer has been diagnosed as advanced or inoperable.

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Maria C. Russell MD

  • Surgical Oncologist
Photo of 
                                 Maria C. Russell MD
Maria C. Russell MD

Maria C. Russell MD

  • Dr. Russell's treats tumors of the liver, biliary tract, pancreas, spleen and gallbladder, metastatic tumors to the liver, tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, neuroendocrine tumors, melanoma and metastatic melanoma.
  • Associate Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 686-1001

Charles A. Staley MD

  • Surgical Oncologist
Photo of 
                                 Charles A. Staley MD
Charles A. Staley MD

Charles A. Staley MD

  • Dr. Staley leads the surgical oncology team and as Chief Quality Officer works collaboratively with leadership on tracking and improving patient services and satisfaction as well as focusing on cancer outcomes at Winship.
  • Chief Quality Officer, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-0210

Joshua H. Winer MD

  • Surgical Oncologist
Photo of 
                                 Joshua H. Winer MD
Joshua H. Winer MD

Joshua H. Winer MD

  • Dr. Winer's specialties include HIPEC, laparoscopic and robotic pancreas, liver, and gastric resections, and minimally invasive colon surgery.
  • Assistant Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-8059
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