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Hipec Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide for stage 4 colon cancer patients

Navigating a diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer may be difficult, but as medical research advances, so will the treatment choices accessible to patients. Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) surgery is one such development that provides hope for patients in stage 4, adding a new dimension to the battle against this aggressive kind of cancer. 

This detailed information is dedicated to patients dealing with stage 4 colon cancer. It provides an overview of HIPEC surgery, including what it is, its advantages, the treatment itself, recovery, and more.

Hipec Surgery A Comprehensive Guide for Stage 4 Colon Cancer Patients

Understanding Stage IV Colon Cancer

Stage 4, also known as metastatic colon cancer, is the most advanced stage of the illness, in which cancer cells move from the colon to distant places in the body, most often the liver and the peritoneum, a membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. 

Traditional treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, try to stop the cancer’s progress and manage symptoms, but the prognosis might still be poor owing to the disease’s aggressive nature.

A challenge of the highest kind

Metastatic colon cancer is infamous for its poor survival rates and is regarded as one of the most challenging kinds of cancer to adequately treat. Tumours in the liver and peritoneum might be especially difficult to remove owing to their location and propensity for regrowth, even after vigorous therapy.

The typical treatment for stage 4 colon cancer is a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. However, these approaches have limits, particularly when the cancer has progressed widely across the abdomen or when surgery is not an option owing to the severity of the illness.

What is HIPEC Surgery?

HIPEC, or “Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy,” is a high-concentration, heated chemotherapy treatment that is administered directly to the abdomen during surgery. Unlike typical systemic chemotherapy, which circulates throughout the body, HIPEC targets cancer cells clustered in the abdomen region.

How HIPEC Differs From Traditional Chemotherapy?

The fundamental distinction between HIPEC and conventional chemotherapy is the manner of medication distribution. HIPEC delivers chemotherapy at a larger dosage and in a heated form (about 41-42°C), making it more effective at destroying cancer cells. The heat also allows chemotherapy medications to permeate the tissues more effectively

Related : Life expectancy after HIPEC surgery

Benefits of Hipec Surgery

The localized nature of HIPEC may provide considerable benefits over systemic chemotherapy treatments. HIPEC may improve treatment efficacy by targeting cancer cells in the abdomen at a larger dosage and in a concentrated form while minimizing exposure of healthy tissues to chemotherapy medications.

Enhanced efficacy with fewer side effects.

HIPEC’s success stems from its capacity to boost tumor penetration and cell death, perhaps leading to better results for certain patients. Furthermore, focused distribution may lessen the overall impact on the body, resulting in fewer and milder systemic adverse effects than standard chemotherapy.

Potential for long-term remission

HIPEC offers patients with some forms of cancer a chance at long-term remission, which improves overall survival rates. HIPEC attempts to reduce patients’ cancer burden by combining surgery to remove visible tumors with hot chemotherapy to target microscopic remaining disease, boosting the odds of long-term remission.

HIPEC Procedure Step by Step


HIPEC is a problematic, multi-step surgical technique that necessitates the collaboration of specialized surgeons and oncologists. The procedure consists of four major stages: 

1.cytoreductive surgery (CRS), 

2.hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), 

3.continuous hyperthermic peritoneal perfusion (CHPP), and 

4.early post-operative intraperitoneal chemotherapy (EPIC).


1. Cytoreductive surgery.

The first step, called CRS, seeks to remove any visible tumors from the abdominal cavity. To accomplish total cytoreduction, several organs or organ portions may be removed.

2.Heating and Delivery of Chemotherapy

Following CRS, HIPEC therapy is performed. This entails heating the chemotherapeutic solution and circulating it through the belly for 90 minutes. The goal is to eliminate any leftover cancer cells that are too tiny to observe.

3.Continued Hyperthermic Peritoneal Perfusion

In certain situations, a CHPP may be performed after HIPEC, which includes heated saline circulation in the peritoneal cavity to reduce the effects of chemotherapeutic medications and cleanse the abdominal region.

4.Early post-operative intraperitoneal chemotherapy.

Once the surgical incision is closed, a large dosage of chemotherapy is administered straight into the peritoneal cavity. This is done to treat any leftover cancer cells while the patient is still recovering from surgery.


Recovery and aftercare

Recovery after HIPEC surgery may be difficult since it is a sophisticated and intrusive operation. Patients should anticipate a hospital stay of several weeks, followed by a period of recovery at home. The treatment plan will be customized for each patient and may include pain management, nutritional assistance, physical therapy, and vigilant monitoring for problems.

Patients will be given specific instructions for post-operative care. These requirements must be strictly followed and may include food restrictions, wound care, and suggestions for when to resume regular activities.

Expected outcomes

While the patient’s health and the amount of the operation will impact the total recovery, the objective is to restore the patient’s quality of life to as near to their pre-cancer state as feasible.

Success Rate

The success rate of HIPEC surgery for stage 4 colon cancer varies greatly depending on individual patient parameters such as the cancer’s size and general health. However, studies have indicated that for properly chosen participants, HIPEC may enhance survival rates and quality of life. Success is often defined as progression-free survival and the capacity to control cancer development and spread.

Patient Journey and Recovery

The patient journey through HIPEC surgery is quite involved, beginning with a thorough evaluation to determine suitability for the procedure. Patients can anticipate an extensive operative experience, with surgery lasting several hours, during which time the abdomen is treated with heated chemotherapy.

Recovery Expectations

Post-surgery, patients should brace for a significant recovery period. Initial recovery often occurs in an intensive care unit where vital signs and fluid balance are closely observed. The subsequent weeks require patience and perseverance, with the potential for both high and low days as the body recuperates.

Post-Operative Care

Attentive post-operative care is crucial for a successful recovery. Patients will be guided on how to manage their surgical incisions, recognize signs of infection, and handle side effects from the chemotherapy. The care team will provide a comprehensive program, including pain relief, physiotherapy, and psychological support to aid the patient in regaining strength and well-being.

Managing Expectations

Patients should have reasonable expectations for their recovery. HIPEC provides hope for better results, but it is not a guarantee. A good attitude, commitment to the approved treatment plan, and strong engagement with the onco team are all essential parts of the healing process.

For individuals contemplating HIPEC surgery or seeking more information on advanced treatment options for stage 4 colon cancer, the next step is to consult with a medical practitioner. Seeking advice from HIPEC professionals may help patients comprehend this technique and its possible significance in their treatment strategy.

Connect with HIPEC surgery experts.

If you or someone you know has stage 4 colon cancer, contact a doctor or a treatment facility that has performed HIPEC surgery before. A first consultation may open up a world of options for combating this condition and moving towards remission.

For people at this crucial point in their health journey, HIPEC surgery provides a ray of hope—an opportunity to alter the course of their cancer fight. With a focus on providing the most inventive and effective therapy, the medical community has evolved, transformed, and triumphed over cancer’s obstacles. 

Swift action, detailed awareness, and collaboration with a specialized healthcare team are critical in realizing the full promise of HIPEC surgery and, ultimately, changing the narrative for people with stage 4 colon cancer.


    About Author
    Dr. Praveen Kammar

    Surgical Oncologist


    Years Of Experience

    Dr. Praveen Kammar is a Best Surgical Oncologist in Mumbai. His main area of expertise aslso includes GI oncology, Gynecological cancers, minimal access surgeries, Robotics surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery, HIPEC.

    Dr. Praveen has done more than 6000+ surgeries in his expertise.

    More About Doctor


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