Cancer Surgery

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can be one of the most frightening times of your life. Nebraska Medicine is here to help you make the best decisions for yourself.

We'll arm you with as much information and as detailed information as you feel you need to make a right treatment decisions for you.

This will include determining if it makes sense to group many therapies and procedures -- chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery -- together or take more of a single-strike, targeted approach using only one or two of those weapons.

Your team will also help you make the best decisions on what the most effective order of events will be and how to proceed from diagnosis to treatment.

The surgical oncology staff here will not only provides the technical knowledge, but also brings to your procedure decades of experience removing tumors while leaving what's working pristine. 

Nebraska Medicine’s surgeons use the latest advances to aggressively treat cancer while preserving your quality of life. Many procedures involve incisions as small as the width of a dime. Others involve targeted radiation that can reduce your treatment regimen from six weeks to five days. Our advanced surgical treatments focus on speeding recovery time, reducing the need for a second surgery further down the road and improving outcomes.

Nebraska Medicine sees one of the highest volumes of cancer patients in the area. This translates into more experience, sharper skills and better care and outcomes for you.

Some Cancers We Remove with Surgery:


Ashli Bhrem - Cancer Survivor

The doctors operating on you will be both brilliant and full of compassion. And the support staff including nurses, techs, and front-desk staff will make your day with their level of caring.

Surgical Treatments 

Radioactive Seed Localization (RSL)

This procedure is much more precise and less painful than a procedure that began with the sometimes painful placement of a wire in the patient's breast to mark the tumor location. With radioactive seed localization, a thin needle is used to place a tiny radioactive seed the size of a pencil tip directly on the cancerous lump.

The seed acts as a beacon that allows the surgeon to easily find the lump and remove cancerous tissue in the margins around the lump. Since the seed gives off only enough radiation to act as a marker, there is no chance of radiation damage. Patients avoid the likelihood of a second operation to clear more cancer, and it also allows the scar to be in a cosmetically preferable place.

Intraperitoneal Hyperthermic Chemotherapy (HIPEC)

We offer a unique treatment called intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy (HIPEC) or hot chemo that has provided very positive results. This approach is well-suited for treating cancer in the abdominal area since the organs and inner abdominal wall are at risk of cancer cells spreading from one area to another. After removing the visible tumors, surgeons close the abdomen and fill the abdominal cavity with the heated chemotherapy. The hot chemo bathes all the organs with the solution, killing the microscopic cancer cells which may still remain. Research has shown that heat combined with chemotherapy amplifies chemo’s effectiveness and adds another mechanism to induce cancer cell death.

Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery using the robotic da Vinci™ Surgical System provides patients a minimally invasive alternative to surgery that is more accurate and precise than ever before.

The system provides surgeons with intuitive control, range of motion and incredible precision and accuracy, while minimizing the impact on the body. In fact, the incision is only about the size of a dime as opposed to a large incision. Seated at a control console near the patient, the surgeon views high-definition, magnified, 3-D images from a tiny video camera to perform intricate tasks through small ports. The mechanical "wrists" provide greater range of motion than possible by a human and eliminates the possibility of human tremors that can make intricate surgeries difficult.

This results in improved outcomes, fewer complications, less recovery time and less discomfort after surgery.

Partial Breast Irradiation (PBI)

An FDA-approved low-energy radiation therapy, Intrabeam MammoSite® 5-day targeted radiation therapy, offers advantages to traditional radiation therapy for some early-stage breast cancer patients. Rather than total breast radiation, Intrabeam delivers targeted radiation therapy directly to the area where cancer is most likely to recur. Without compromising the outcome, it delivers a full course of radiation in just five days and can eliminate the six-week daily regimen of radiation therapy that normally accompanies lumpectomy. Nebraska Medicine was one of the earliest hospitals in the country to use this direct radiation treatment option and is one of a small number of hospitals in the country approved to use Intrabeam.

Advanced Expertise

Nebraska Medicine’s Division of Anesthesiology Acute Pain Service (APS) provides comprehensive pain management program by incorporating the use of specialized pain medications and specific invasive pain therapies. This service is available to all patients at Nebraska Medicine but predominantly focuses on patients undergoing painful surgeries. The APS consists of a specialized team of clinicians with expertise in the field of acute pain management, including anesthesiologists, physician assistants with specialty training in pain management, and pharmacists. If APS is utilized to assist in the care of a patient then APS will provide acute pain control 24 hours a day and seven days a week. An anesthesiologist and a physician assistant will visit each patient on the service once or twice per day and make every attempt to maximize pain control while reducing unpleasant side effects and complications.