Surgery

Many types of surgery are used to help cure, prevent, and diagnose cancer.

Surgery to help cure cancer removes a tumor and some tissue around it. Taking some nearby tissue helps the doctor know if all the cancer was removed. The doctor may also remove nearby lymph nodes to check if the cancer spread to other parts of the body.

The treatment plan often includes radiation therapy or chemotherapy before or after surgery. These therapies aim to destroy any cancer cells that remain or tumors that can't be removed by surgery.

Surgery to reconstruct a body part or function may be needed after cancer treatment. Breast reconstruction after a mastectomy is one example. Sometimes patients with head and neck cancer need surgery to restore the ability to swallow or speak. 

Diagnostic surgery (biopsy): The surgeon removes all or part of the tumor so a pathologist can look at it under a microscope. This shows if it is cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign). A biopsy can be done in different ways:

  • Incisional biopsy: The surgeon removes a piece of the tumor.
  • Excisional biopsy: The surgeon removes the entire tumor.
  • Needle biopsy: The doctor inserts a needle into the tumor and removes a sample. When a wide needle is used, it is called a core biopsy. When a thin needle is used, it is called a fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy. Needle biopsies are often done without surgery.

Palliative surgery eases pain or manages cancer symptoms. It is used to improve a patient’s quality of life, not to cure the cancer. For example, palliative surgery would remove a tumor that may be pressing on surrounding nerves. 

Preventive surgery removes a certain area of the body at high risk for developing cancer. It is usually meant for people who have inherited a very high risk of developing cancer. For example, changes in the BRCA gene make a woman at high risk of developing breast cancer. Women who know they have inherited a change in BRCA may choose a prophylactic (preventive) mastectomy. This surgery removes the breasts before breast cancer develops. Preventive surgeries are not for everyone. Huntsman Cancer Institute's Family Cancer Assessment Clinic can help answer questions and identify those who may have a higher risk of cancer due to inherited genetic changes.

Surgery Education Resources 

Call your surgeon's office or nurse with any questions about surgery. The G. Mitchell Morris Cancer Learning Center (CLC) is HCI's free cancer information service and lending library. It is located on the sixth floor of the cancer hospital and is open to the public Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The CLC offers four easy ways to get cancer-related information:

Dominic Albo, Jr., M.D.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 585-5150

Specialties: Sclerotherapy, Spider Veins, Surgery, General

Robert Hans Ingemar Andtbacka, M.D., C.M.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 587-8808

Specialties: Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors, Melanoma Surgery, Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology, Oncology, Oncology Surgery, Sarcoma, Soft Tissue Sarcoma Surgery, Soft Tissue Sarcomas, Surgery, General

Richard G. Barton, M.D.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 581-4314

Specialties: Acute Care Surgery, Critical Care, Surgery, General, Trauma Surgery

Paul J. Campsen, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-2708
University Hospital (801) 581-2634
University Hospital (801) 585-2708

Specialties: Hepatopancreatobiliary (Liver/Pancreas/Biliary) Surgery, Kidney Transplant, Liver Cancer, Liver Disease, Liver Transplant, Pancreas Transplant, Renal Transplantation, Surgery, General

Alexander L. Colonna, M.D., B.A.

Locations
University Hospital
University Hospital

Specialties: Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Surgery, Acute Care Surgery, Critical Care, Hernia Surgery (open and laparoscopic), Surgery, General, Trauma Surgery

Jennifer Curti, PA-C

Specialties: Physician Assistant, Surgery, General

Merril T. Dayton, M.D.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 581-7124

Specialties: Surgery, General

Mark K. Dodson, M.D.

Locations
OB-Gyn Avenues Clinic (801) 587-2809

Specialties: Gynecologic Oncology, Oncology Surgery

Toby M. Enniss, M.D., FACS

Specialties: Critical Care, Surgery, General, Trauma Surgery

Samuel R.G. Finlayson, M.D., M.P.H.

Locations
University Hospital

Specialties: Surgery, General

Katy Y. Fu, APRN

Locations
University Hospital (801) 585-2488
University Hospital (801) 585-7700

Specialties: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Surgery, General

Robert E. Glasgow, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-6035
University Hospital (801) 585-6035

Specialties: Acute Care Surgery, Barrett's Esophagus, Colorectal Surgery, Endocrine Surgery (Adrenal, Thyroid, Parathyroid), Esophageal Diseases, Esophageal Surgery, GI Motility, Gastric/Esophageal Surgery, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Hepatopancreatobiliary (Liver/Pancreas/Biliary) Surgery, Hernia Surgery (open and laparoscopic), Minimally Invasive Gastrointestinal Surgery, Minimally Invasive Lung & Esophageal Surgery, Soft Tissue Sarcoma Surgery, Surgery, General, Therapeutic Endoscopy, Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Surgery

Elisha Haroldsen, M.P.A.S., PA-C

Specialties: Physician Assistant, Surgery, General

John Hyngstrom, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital

Specialties: Melanoma Surgery, Soft Tissue Sarcoma Surgery, Surgery, General

Kevin B. Jones, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-0262
PCH Outpatient Services at Riverton (801) 285-1440
Primary Children's Hospital (801) 662-5600

Specialties: Oncology Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Sarcoma, Soft Tissue Sarcoma Surgery

Robin D. Kim, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-6140
Primary Children's Hospital (801) 585-6140
University Hospital (801) 585-6320

Specialties: Hepatopancreatobiliary (Liver/Pancreas/Biliary) Surgery, Kidney Transplant, Liver Cancer, Liver Disease, Liver Transplant, Pancreas Transplant, Surgery, General, Transplant Surgery

Edward J. Kimball, M.D., B.Sc.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 581-2292

Specialties: Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Surgery, General

Rebecca M. Kohler, PA-C

Locations
University Hospital (801) 587-3856

Specialties: Bariatric Surgery, Physician Assistant, Surgery, General

John T. Langell, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 587-7288

Specialties: Endocrine, Oncology Surgery, Surgery, General, Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Surgery

James M. McGreevy, M.D.

Locations
South Jordan Health Center (801) 213-4500
University Hospital (801) 581-4488

Specialties: Breast Cancer, Breast Disease, Breast Surgery, Surgery, General

Stephen E. Morris, M.D.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 585-7403
University Hospital (801) 581-3050
University Hospital (801) 581-6255

Specialties: Burn Care, Burn Surgery, Critical Care, Frostbite, Surgery, General, Trauma Surgery

Sean J. Mulvihill, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 581-7167

Specialties: Biliary Cancer, Hepatopancreatobiliary (Liver/Pancreas/Biliary) Surgery, Laparoscopy, Liver Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Surgery, General

Edward W. Nelson, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 587-4241
University Hospital (801) 581-7738
University Hospital (801) 581-2634

Specialties: Breast Cancer, Breast Disease, Breast Surgery, Endocrine, Hernia Surgery (open and laparoscopic), Kidney Transplant, Oncology Surgery, Parathyroid, Surgery, General, Transplant Surgery, Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Surgery, Women's Health

Leigh A. Neumayer, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 587-4241

Specialties: Breast Cancer, Breast Disease, Breast Surgery, Oncology Surgery, Surgery, General

Pamela Nielsen, PA-C

Locations
University Hospital (801) 581-3050

Specialties: Surgery, General

Ram Nirula, M.D., M.P.H.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 581-2232

Specialties: Critical Care, Surgery, General, Trauma Surgery

Julie L. O'Brien, N.P.

Specialties: Nurse Practitioner, Surgery, General

William J. Peche, M.S.P.H., M.D.

Specialties: Colon Cancer, Colorectal Surgery, Endoscopy, Inflammatory Bowel Disease/Crohn's/Ulcerative Colitis, Surgery, General

Jane M. Porretta, M.D., FACS

Locations
South Jordan Health Center (801) 213-4500

Specialties: Breast Cancer, Breast Surgery, Surgery, General

Robert J. Preston, M.D.

Specialties: Surgery, General

R. Lor Randall, M.D., FACS

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-0206
PCH Outpatient Services at Riverton (801) 285-1440
Primary Children's Hospital (801) 662-5600

Specialties: Oncology Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Sarcoma

Mark Savarise, M.D.

Locations
South Jordan Health Center (801) 213-5026

Specialties: Breast Cancer, Breast Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, Endoscopy, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Hernia Surgery (open and laparoscopic), Sclerotherapy, Spider Veins, Surgery, General, Therapeutic Endoscopy

Courtney L. Scaife, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-6911

Specialties: Colorectal Surgery, Esophageal Surgery, Gastric/Esophageal Surgery, Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors, Hepatopancreatobiliary (Liver/Pancreas/Biliary) Surgery, Minimally Invasive Gastrointestinal Surgery, Oncology Surgery, Pancreatic Cancer, Sarcoma, Soft Tissue Sarcoma Surgery, Surgery, General, Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Surgery

Andrew P. Soisson, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 213-2239

Specialties: Gynecologic Oncology, Oncology Surgery

Daniel J. Vargo, M.D.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 587-7963

Specialties: Critical Care, Surgery, General, Trauma Surgery

Carlos Vasquez, APRN

Specialties: Surgery, General

Eric T. Volckmann, M.D.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 587-3856

Specialties: Bariatric Surgery, Barrett's Esophagus, Endocrine Surgery (Adrenal, Thyroid, Parathyroid), Esophageal Diseases, GI Motility, Gastric/Esophageal Surgery, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Hernia Surgery (open and laparoscopic), Minimally Invasive Gastrointestinal Surgery, Surgery, General, Therapeutic Endoscopy, Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Surgery

Alla Zinger, PA-C, B.B.A.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 585-7403

Specialties: Acute Care Surgery, Surgery, General, Trauma Surgery