Surgical Oncology

Image of Division of Oncology faculty

The primary mission for The Division of Surgical Oncology at the University of Minnesota is to provide state-of-the-art care for cancer patients.

Our surgeons evaluate and treat patients with a variety of benign and malignant diseases. Our board-certified surgeons all have specialized fellowship training and work in a multidisciplinary setting with other specialists to provide the latest treatments and innovations in surgical cancer care.

The Division is at the forefront of new research and technology for cancer patients. Our patients are offered the opportunity to participate in clinical research trials through the only National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Twin Cities.

Conditions we treat

surgeonsOur surgeons treat a variety of diseases including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Pancreas cancer
  • Liver tumors 
  • Gallbladder/bile duct tumors
  • Thyroid and parathyroid disease
  • Adrenal tumors
  • Melanoma
  • Sarcomas
  • Stomach cancer
  • Appendix cancer
  • Metastatic colorectal cancer

Learn about all of the conditions we treat at our M Health site.

The faculty members not only perform advanced procedures, they also create innovative treatments for cancer patients. 

Specialized cancer treatments include laparoscopic pancreas and liver resections, sentinel lymph node biopsy, skin- and nipple-sparing mastectomy, isolated limb infusion, radiofrequency ablation, laparoscopic adrenalectomy, robotic thyroidectomy, hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, and videoscopic femoral lymph node dissections.

Latest News

Excerpt from Sports Illustrated Article "Athlete gets cancer. Athlete fights cancer. Repeat, again and again..."

July 10th by Tim Layden

"ACC most commonly metastasizes to the lungs, far less often in the liver. In other words, Gabe had a rare version of a rare cancer. There was some good news, though: The new tumor was resectionable, meaning that it could be removed, and with it, in theory, would come all the new cancer, still leaving enough of the liver that it would grow and return to full capacity. (Further recurrence of metastatic cancer was still likely.) On the morning of Aug. 26, Eric Jensen, a 44-year-old professor of surgical oncology at M Health, performed a five-hour, extended right hepatectomy on Gabe, removing the tumor along with her gall bladder (which, essentially, was in the way)."

Jensen started with his scalpel. “It’s a tough incision,” he says. “The majority of liver surgery is done less invasively—laparoscopically or with a small incision—but this was a large tumor in a small-framed woman.” The incision went through every layer of Gabe’s abdominal wall. Jensen initially struggled to pull the tumor out from beneath Gabe’s rib cage; when he finally succeeded he instructed his scrub nurse to call Justin, who was out running because he dislikes hospital waiting rooms. “It sounded like they were having a party in the operating suite,” Justin remembers.

The tumor Jensen removed—the one that was growing in Gabe’s torso when she ran the Olympic Trials—was 6.3 inches long, six inches wide and almost four inches thick, bigger than believed. It weighed about four pounds, slightly less than a two-liter bottle of soda."

Read the whole article here

Dr. Tuttle discusses a recent study regarding double mastectomies in men facing breast cancer

Even among men who have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, there has not been enough research looking at whether a double mastectomy can improve life expectancy, said Dr. Todd M. Tuttle, chief of surgical oncology at the University of Minnesota. Tuttle was involved in a study that found little benefit of a double mastectomy for women without genetic risk factors, but he did not participate in the current research.

Read the article at CNN

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