Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy, or HIPEC, is used to treat cancers that have grown beyond the scope of IV chemotherapy. Intraperitoneal refers to where HIPEC is used, in the abdomen, and Hyperthermic Chemotherapy means that the Chemotherapy solution is heated up past normal body temperatures.
Many of your organs, such as your intestines, liver, and spleen are located in your abdomen or “belly.” The lining that covers the inside of your abdomen is the peritoneum. Cancer can start in the peritoneum or cancer can spread to the peritoneum from other organs. This type of cancer is peritoneal carcinomatosis. The most common cancers treated with CRS & HIPEC are appendix cancer, pseudomyxoma peritonei, colorectal cancer, gastric, peritoneal mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, and primary peritoneal cancer. The surgery is performed in two phases. The first phase is the cytoreductive surgery (CRS). During the CRS, the surgeon works systematically throughout the belly to remove all visible tumor. The second part of the surgery is the administration of HIPEC. The whole procedure can take around 8 hours, with HIPEC taking up 2 of those hours.