HPB Surgery Consultation

You may have heard that some people are not good “candidates” for minimally invasive surgery, while others are. It’s true — sometimes standard open surgery provides a better option. But when appropriate, and performed by a highly skilled surgeon in the right setting, minimally invasive surgery can provide a number of potential advantages.

Dr. Claudius Conrad performs the full range of surgical options for liver, pancreas and biliary tract cancers. For minimally invasive surgery, he can choose between a laparoscopic approach and robotic assistance.

Part of the skill set is to decide what works best for whom.”

What to Expect During Your HPB Surgery Consultation

When it comes to surgery as a possible treatment for cancer, each case is unique and deserves careful evaluation. Deciding on a course of action takes experience, expertise and a team approach:

  • Complete evaluation At St. Elizabeth’s, Dr. Conrad partners with expert colleagues in other cancer specialties for a thorough health assessment. He works with the team to consider previous medical history, biology of the tumor and personal anatomy, using 3D imaging and other sophisticated diagnostic tools. This knowledge helps them craft the most appropriate recommendations.

  • Range of options Some surgeons can only offer open operations, so may recommend that approach. But Dr. Conrad offers all options for cancer in the pancreas, liver or biliary tract, and determines the best surgical course for each individual case. Open surgery provides the best option for some, while a minimally invasive approach may benefit others. Even within minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Conrad can make nuanced choices. The precise movements of robotic assistance may help in tight areas or during extensive suturing and reconstruction. But laparoscopy by hand offers a greater range of tools and tactile feedback.

  • Holistic cancer approach One of the first doctors board-certified in surgical oncology, Dr. Conrad thinks like a surgeon and an oncologist. He considers how surgery may impact other cancer treatments a patient may need, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and chooses the optimal timing accordingly. He drives developments in novel therapies such as genomic medicine — he also has a PhD in adult stem cell biology — and he and his research team investigate cancer’s mechanisms and new ways to treat it.

  • True support With Dr. Conrad and his team, the patient’s needs and wishes come first — not those of the medical institution. He listens to hear what the patient really wants, then serves as their advocate. The patient is the ultimate decision-maker and the most important part of the care team.

I will move heaven and earth to make things happen for my patients.”