SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital is an academic medical center in St. Louis that serves as the teaching hospital for Saint Louis University School of Medicine and is exclusively staffed by SLUCare Physician Group. This three-pronged relationship between SSM Health, SLUCare and Saint Louis University School of Medicine is just one way we’re changing health care.
As an academic medical center, we are at the forefront of ground-breaking medical treatments and procedures—providing them to our patients, teaching them to our students and developing them through research and innovation.
While we all strive to provide the latest in high-technology medicine, we also share a deep, Catholic heritage that empowers us to be caregivers at every level. We treat our whole patients—their bodies as well as their minds and spirits—with compassion and respect.
Whether being tested or facing a diagnosis, your cancer journey is unique. SSM Health Cancer Care provides you with the latest advances in cancer treatment as well as a supportive team of board-certified oncologists, specialists and nurse navigators to help you at every step. You receive a care plan that caters to your individual health and emotional needs. SSM Health Cancer Care has locations throughout the St. Louis and St. Charles communities so you are never far from home. We are committed to delivering exceptional care to you.
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HIPEC at St. Louis University
HIPEC is an alternative and innovative method of delivering chemotherapy, which is commonly used to treat many types of cancer, to the body. Unlike traditional chemotherapy that is delivered intravenously, HIPEC delivers chemotherapy directly into the abdomen making it a good option for cancers that originated in or have spread to the abdominal cavity.
How does HIPEC work?
First, your surgeon removes any visible tumors from the abdomen. Next, HIPEC delivers heated chemotherapy directly inside the abdomen to help destroy any remaining cancer cells and very small tumors that cannot be seen by the surgeon. This is because the chemotherapy circulates inside the abdomen, allowing it to reach more places. The goal of HIPEC is to prevent these cells from growing into new tumors and causing the cancer to return.
What are the benefits of HIPEC procedures?
- HIPEC allows for a higher concentration of chemotherapy to be delivered into the abdomen more effectively and safer than standard chemotherapy, which is delivered intravenously.
- This type of chemotherapy is best at killing cancer cells that are too small to be seen with the naked eye.
- Chemotherapy delivered through HIPEC causes fewer side effects than intravenous chemotherapy. This is because the high concentrations of chemotherapy solution are unable to cross what is known as the peritoneal plasma barrier.
- Experts say that pairing surgery and HIPEC together may be more beneficial than chemotherapy alone.
Am I a candidate for HIPEC?
Typical HIPEC patients are those with certain Stage IV abdominal cancers. Many are seeking an alternative to traditional chemotherapy or radiation therapy, as these options offer limited success treating advanced abdominal cancers. Patients also may have been told that no other treatment will work, but are still hoping to find a solution.