Cancer Surgery

Expert surgical oncology treatment from caring surgeons

Cancer Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham

When you’re facing cancer, it’s important to have doctors you can trust at your side. You need specialists with knowledge, technical expertise and compassion. And it helps when they’re located close to your home, with family and friends nearby.

You get all of this from the surgery team at BID Needham. Our cancer surgeons are on staff both here and at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). We have expertise in image-guided and endoscopic procedures. And we specialize in these and many other types of surgeries: 

  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Gynecologic cancer
  • Urologic and prostate cancer

Your Cancer Care Team 

Our surgeons are here for you if you need a biopsy (the removal of a small amount of tissue for analysis in the lab) or surgical care to prevent, diagnose or treat cancer. Surgeons are part of our specialized cancer care team at BID Needham that also includes:

  • Anesthesiologists.
  • Medical oncologists.
  • Nurses.
  • Nutrition specialists.
  • Pathologists.
  • Psychologists and psychiatrists.
  • Radiation oncologists.
  • Radiologists.
  • Social workers.

Depending on your needs, specialists in plastic and reconstructive surgery and wound care may be part of your medical team, as well. Working together, all our experts make sure you get the care and support you need.

Our Cancer Surgery Center  

Our Surgical Pavilion is located on the top floor of the Lank Cancer Center. It nearly doubles our operating room capacity in Needham and is designed with the needs of you and your family in mind. The facility features:

  • Comfortable new rooms where we prepare you for surgery.
  • An expanded post-anesthesia care unit (PAC) located next to our operating rooms to improve efficiency.
  • A spacious, modern waiting area surrounded by natural light.
  • Two operating rooms with advanced technology. They’re specially configured to support minimally invasive, image-guided procedures. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Minimally Invasive Surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery involves several small incisions rather than one large one. Your surgeon inserts a tiny camera into one of these cuts. The camera allows them to see inside your body. Surgeons place special instruments through the other cuts to perform your operation.

With smaller incisions, you’re likely to have less pain and an easier recovery than you would have with traditional, open surgery.

What Are the Goals of Cancer Surgery?

Depending on the kind of cancer you have and how advanced it is, your doctor may recommend surgery to:

  • Ease your symptoms.
  • Remove part of your tumor, if removing the entire tumor might damage a sensitive area of your body. This may help other treatments work better.
  • Remove your entire tumor.
What Happens Before Surgery?

Your medical team will explain what you should do to get ready for surgery. In many cases, preparation includes certain tests, such as:  

  • Blood tests.
  • Chest X-ray.
  • Electrocardiogram (a test that detects heart problems).

Prior to surgery, you may be asked to avoid eating or drinking for a certain period of time. It’s important to follow any guidance carefully. If you don’t, your surgery may have to be rescheduled.

What Type of Anesthesia Will I Have?

There are three types of anesthesia:

  • General anesthesia causes loss of consciousness and loss of feeling.
  • Local anesthesia causes you to lose feeling in the area being treated.
  • Regional anesthesia causes loss of feeling in a specific part of your body, such as your arm or leg.

Your doctor and anesthesiologist will talk with you about which type is best for your surgery.

Will I Have Pain After Surgery?

Most people have some discomfort after surgery. Your health care team will help you manage your team. Be sure to tell them if you can’t get your pain or discomfort under control.

What Happens After Surgery?

When you’re ready to leave the hospital, we’ll discuss with you:

  • Activities you should and shouldn’t do at home.
  • Caring for your wound.
  • Eating well.
  • Managing your pain.
  • When to notify your health care team if you have problems.
  • When you can return to work or other activities.

Your surgeon may want to see you sometime after your surgery to make sure you’re healing well.

Types of Cancer We Treat

We treat a wide variety of cancers. No matter your type, know that you’re in good hands with us.
  • Blood & bone marrow cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Gynecologic cancer
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Lung & thoracic cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Spleen cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Urologic cancer

Services & Specialties

Your cancer care team works with other specialists throughout BID Needham to ensure continuity of care for all your needs.

Make an Appointment

To speak with a member of our cancer care team, please call.