Surgery

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The surgeons at Indiana University Health have experience in performing virtually every type of surgery, including general surgery, trauma surgery, orthopedic surgery, cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery and transplant surgery.

We offer the latest surgical techniques, including minimally invasive surgery, endoscopic, laparoscopic and robotic surgical approaches. Minimally invasive surgery provides many benefits to the patient, including less pain, shorter recovery time and a faster return to normal daily activities.

Through our partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine, one of the largest medical schools in the country, we have access to training programs and advanced research that enable us to bring the latest surgical advancements straight to our patients. 

Indiana University Health University Hospital has:

  • A full-service general surgery program providing care for patients with soft tissue lumps, inguinal hernias, incisional hernias and gallbladder stones.
  • A multidisciplinary program for patients with breast cancer, emphasizing breast conservation and sentinel lymph node biopsy.
  • Modern surgical approaches to thyroid nodules, hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer, especially papillary, follicular and medullary types.
  • A multidisciplinary program that includes the availability of endoscopic rather than operative therapy for patients with swallowing problems, heartburn and regurgitation.
  • Advanced laparoscopic approaches for surgical conditions of the abdominal wall and all abdominal organs.
  • A program for patients with benign or malignant tumors of the liver, emphasizing surgical resection when appropriate and adjuvant therapy for selected lesions.

The surgery team at IU Health University Hospital also offers robotic surgery options. This technology allows physicians to perform complex surgical operations with extreme precision and delicacy. 

Liver Oncology

The department of surgery houses a robust liver oncology program that addresses the diagnosis and treatment of primary and secondary liver tumors. We provide surgical treatment (liver transplant, multivisceral transplant and resection) and non-surgical treatment (targeted radiotherapy, catheter-based techniques and ablative options) for primary liver cancer, metastatic colorectal cancer and neuroendocrine cancers. Our evidence-based treatment approach takes into consideration an ever-evolving medical environment in which we integrate novel therapies into established paradigms.

Breast Surgery

IU Health University Hospital breast surgeons are highly specialized experts in advanced surgical treatment of aggressive and difficult-to-treat breast cancers. We use advanced oncoplastic techniques that allow preservation of the breast, even for large tumors that typically would require mastectomy. When mastectomy is necessary, complete nipple-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction optimizes the aesthetic and natural appearance of the breast. Innovative minimally invasive treatment for breast cancer, such as cryoablation, is currently being evaluated through a clinical trial that is only available at IU Health. The surgery team at IU Health University Hospital evaluates new treatments for breast cancer to provide comprehensive care tailored to your needs.

Abdominal Wall Reconstruction

Hernias are common and occur in predictable locations like the groin or around one’s belly button or umbilicus. They can also occur at the location of a previous surgical incision. Although most hernias can be repaired with a straightforward method of applying a “patch” or surgical mesh to the area of weakness, more complex methods are sometimes necessary. The surgeons at IU Health University Hospital are leaders in the field of complex hernia repair and abdominal wall reconstruction. In addition to participating in leading edge research on the newest repair materials and techniques, the surgery team at IU Health University Hospital also teaches these techniques to practicing surgeons all over the United States.

Pancreas Surgery

IU Health University Hospital is home to a nationally-recognized multidisciplinary program that treats patients with pancreatic cancer, especially ductal adenocarcinoma and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN). The surgery team at IU Health University Hospital also provides treatment options for patients with cystic tumors (neoplasms) of the head, body or tail of the pancreas, especially serous and mucinous. A special surgical service is available for patients with complex pancreatitis, especially hemorrhagic, necrotizing and necrotizing with infection types.

Robotic Surgery

IU Health University Hospital offers several robotic surgery options, as outlined below.

Robotic Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgery

Prior to robotic technology, most head and neck cancer surgeries required a large incision so surgeons could access the back of the throat with their hands. Now, robotic surgery techniques provide physicians the ability to remove cancerous and benign tumors of the tonsils, back of the tongue and voice box through the mouth.

Ear, nose and throat (ENT) procedures that use robotic technology generally allow the patient to start eating and drinking shortly after the procedure and leave the hospital within a few days. Robotic ENT procedures are also less disruptive to the muscles of the throat than traditional open surgical approaches, resulting in fewer reconstructive surgeries. This allows the patient to return to normal appearance and function faster.

Robotic General Surgery

The da Vinci Surgical System® provides an alternative to open and conventional laparoscopic techniques for many general surgery procedures. Advantages for the surgeon include 3D vision, 360-degree motion and superior precision. These advantages mean less pain, shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery for patients.

IU Health University Hospital offers a wide range of general procedures using robotic techniques, including:

  • Cholecystectomy for patients with symptomatic gallstones or biliary dyskinesia
  • Herniorrhaphy for patients with symptomatic incisional or primary abdominal (umbilical) hernia 
  • Anti-gastroesophageal reflux procedures (Nissen and Toupet) and esophageal myotomy for achalasia
  • Splenectomy
  • Appendectomy
  • Surgery for patients with inflammatory bowel disease, bowel obstructions or colon cancer

Robotic Gynecological Surgery

Robotic methods allow more women undergoing gynecological surgery to maintain their fertility. Some of the robotic gynecological surgery procedures performed at IU Health University Hospital include:

  • Hysterectomies
  • Myomectomies
  • Surgical removal of uterine fibroids
  • Surgical treatment for pelvic floor disorders
  • Surgical treatment for advanced endometriosis

Robotic Pancreaticobiliary Surgery

IU Health University Hospital was one of the first five programs in the country to initiate robotic pancreaticobiliary surgery and remains the only program in the state with a significant experience in complex pancreaticobiliary robotics.

We offer robotic surgical options for:

  • Pancreatic resection for pancreatic cancer, pancreatic cysts and pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic enucleation for pancreatic lesions that are non-cancerous and do not involve the main pancreatic duct
  • Pancreatic necrosectomy in cases of necrotizing pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic drainage procedures for pancreatic pseudocysts and pancreatitis
  • Biliary resection
  • Biliary drainage procedures for liver outflow obstruction

Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Traditional thoracic surgery generally requires an incision to open the chest cavity to allow surgeons access to the tissue and organs in the chest. With robotic surgery, only a few small incisions are needed, allowing for less blood loss, lower complication rates, less postoperative pain and quicker recovery times. A patient's candidacy for robotic surgery depends on their specific needs and conditions. We can treat almost all thoracic diseases with a robotic approach, including:

  • Lung cancer and esophageal cancer
  • Thymomas and other mediastinal tumors
  • Pleural effusions
  • Metastatic pulmonary nodules
  • Complex hiatal hernias (giant and recurrent)
  • Achalasia
  • Hyperhidrosis

Robotic Urologic Surgery

The surgery team at IU Health University Hospital takes a comprehensive approach when treating patients with urologic conditions. We are home to the only training residency program for robotic urology in the state and participate in trials to develop new ways to use the da Vinci robot technology for treatment of urologic disorders. We provide robotic surgery options for many urologic conditions, including:

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