Upper GI Cancer Surgery

Upper GI Cancer Surgery refers to the surgical treatment of cancers that have formed in the Upper Gastrointestinal Tract.
Gastrointestinal cancers are actually the most common forms of cancer. Sadly, over 10,000 Australians are diagnosed with a form of Upper GI cancer each year. Management and treatment of Upper GI cancers is complex and highly specialised. Surgery is only one aspect of the overall treatment for upper GI cancer.
Assoc Prof Mo Ballal
Cancer Surgeon Perth

Types of cancer surgery we can help you with

"It’s important to note, however, that cancer treatment is multidisciplinary. At Upper GI West we have a team of highly experienced and qualified Upper GI Cancer surgeons. We are accomplished in performing many complex surgeries. And we work collaboratively to build our collective and individual experience."
Mr Krishna Epari
Cancer Surgeon Perth

Cancer can strike any part of the body, including the digestive system. Upper Gastrointestinal malignancy can include:

  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Duodenal cancer
  • Biliary tract cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer

Upper GI Cancer Surgery

If detected early enough, removal of the diseased organ (or part thereof) is required to attain a chance of a cure. Such surgery requires a multidisciplinary approach with a team of specialists to provide the best possible outcome. If the cancer is advanced, we provide surgical or endoscopic interventions to alleviate symptoms and minimise discomfort.

Stomach and oesophageal cancer surgery

Oesophageal cancer tends to begin in the cells that line your oesophagus. It is often a result of reflux, smoking and alcohol use.
"The surgery performed will depend on the size of the tumour. It may be possible to just remove the tumour and a small amount of surrounding tissue. In more advanced cases, it may be necessary to remove a portion of the oesophagus and part of the stomach. If the tumour has spread further, your surgeon may need to remove part of your oesophagus, nearby lymph nodes and more of your stomach. After this more radical surgery, your remaining stomach will be reattached to your oesophagus."
Mr Sanjeeva Kariyawasam
Cancer Surgeon Perth

Cancer surgery for the stomach also depends on the spread of the disease. It may involve removal of part of the stomach and some nearby lymph nodes. A partial gastrectomy, which involves removing part of the stomach, may be needed. And in more severe cases, your cancer surgeon may need to carry out a full gastrectomy.

Liver cancer and biliary tract surgery

When you are diagnosed with liver cancer, surgery involves removing parts of your liver along certain anatomical lines. This is called liver resection or partial hepatectomy.
"It is most effective if you have a healthy liver. In such cases, the liver will eventually grow back to its normal size. Sometimes, a liver transplant may be needed. Depending on the cancer, it’s possible the gallbladder and part of the diaphragm may also need to be removed. We participate in research and education projects around the world. This gives you access to the most up-to-date treatment options."
Assoc Prof Mo Ballal
Cancer surgeon Perth

Biliary tract cancer is far rarer than other GI cancers. Most treatments involve surgery combined with either radiation or chemotherapy.

Your surgeon may first carry out keyhole surgery to assess the spread of disease. That helps them decide whether surgery is an option to cure the cancer. Surgery can involve removal of the bile duct if the cancer hasn’t spread.

If the tumour is too widespread, the only option is palliative surgery. This helps to relieve symptoms or treat/prevent possible complications. These might include a blockage of the bile ducts.

Gallbladder cancer surgery

This is a rare form of gastrointestinal cancer, and surgery can be very complex. That means having an experienced surgeon is crucial.

If the cancer has spread, surgery alone can not cure it. In this case, chemotherapy or radiotherapy without surgery may be recommended.

If surgery is an option, your surgeon may perform a cholecystectomy. During this form of cancer surgery, your gallbladder and surrounding tissue are removed.

In advanced stages, the liver may also be involved.

"We believe you deserve the highest quality service throughout your treatment. Our care begins from diagnosis and assessment, through to surgery and management of your condition. You benefit from our accumulated experience as a group of specialist surgeons, with extensive experience in advanced surgery."
Mr Krishna Epari
Cancer surgeon Perth

Pancreatic cancer

Treatment for pancreatic cancer depends on where the tumour is and the stage of cancer. If possible, your cancer surgeon will remove the tumour and some surrounding tissue. Surgery may be followed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

In early-stage pancreatic cancer, our experienced surgeons will mostly use the Whipple procedure. The goal of this is to remove tumours in the head and sometimes body of the pancreas. Other nearby tissue or tissues are also removed. These can include:

  • Part of the small intestine
  • Part of the bile duct
  • The gallbladder
  • Lymph nodes near the pancreas
  • Part of the stomach
"Regardless of the cancer surgery, Upper GI West’s team of experienced surgeons are here to deliver the best possible outcomes. We exchange experiences to keep improving clinical outcomes. That means we bring our patients the latest techniques and best practices."
Assoc Prof Mo Ballal
Cancer surgeon Perth

Upper GI West and Cancer Surgery

Upper GI West brings together a team of Perth’s most experienced Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons. Our team works together to ensure you receive personalised care – before, during and after surgery. We build on decades of experience performing the most complex surgeries, as well as routine surgeries, and we are committed to ensuring our patients benefit from the most recent data and techniques.

Speak to our friendly team to learn how we can help you successfully work with us to treat upper GI cancer.