Surgical Oncology

Surgical oncologists are providers that can do surgery to diagnose, stage or treat cancer. Surgery can often be part of managing cancer, either by itself or as part of a larger treatment plan.

The surgical oncology team is large and has many different specialists to help you. Some of your team will work at both Parkland and UT Southwestern Medical Center. Through teamwork, we provide our patients with the care they deserve.

Why Surgery?

For a patient with cancer, the goal of surgery is to remove the tumor, when appropriate. When the tumor cannot be removed completely, surgery can sometimes make life better for the patient by treating pain or other symptoms. For some patients, surgery is the only form of treatment. For others, surgery might be done along with radiation therapy or chemotherapy. For others, surgery has no role in their treatment plan.

Some patients may have only a procedure done, such as a biopsy. This can usually be done in the clinic. Larger surgeries are done at the main Parkland Hospital or the Ambulatory Surgical Center. Depending on the patient, sometimes a surgery that leaves only small scars can be used, such laparoscopic or robotic surgery.

If surgery is a part of your treatment plan, the surgeon will explain the recommended treatment options, answer questions, and help you and your loved ones feel comfortable. If surgery is not part of your treatment plan, we will explain why not.

What We Treat:

We treat many cancers, such as:

  • Breast cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Bile duct cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Sarcoma

What to Expect

The surgical oncology team will work closely with you to find what options are best for your needs.

During the first appointment, the team will:

  • Review your medical record, including X-rays and test results from any tests or biopsies
  • Discuss your health history
  • Talk to you about whether you need a biopsy to diagnose your cancer and find out what stage it is
  • Talk to you about how advanced your cancer is and what you can expect the outcome to be
  • Discuss the role of surgery in your treatment plan
  • Discuss what other specialists or support team members you might want to see

Preparing For Your Appointment

Write down any questions you may have. Bring a family member and/or friend with you.

If you have insurance, bring your insurance card. If you do not have insurance, please click here to see the financial application. Be sure you bring identification (ID) to your visit.

We will be able to see your medical records for anything you have been seen for at Parkland.

If you have been seen at another hospital, please do your best bring those records with you to your visit. These might include:

  • X-ray/scan results and/or CD
  • Blood work results
  • Contact information for other doctors that you have seen
  • Pathology reports

Questions To Ask My Surgeon

  • Is surgery right for me?
  • What should I bring to my surgery?
  • Who can help me fill out my forms?
  • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What could go wrong?
  • Will I go home after my surgery?
  • How long will my recovery be?
  • What help will I need at home?
  • When can I go back to work?
  • How can I apply for medical leave from my job? (FMLA)
  • When can I exercise?
  • When can I shower?
  • Are there certain foods I should or shouldn’t eat?
  • Can I still take my medicines before and after surgery?
  • Is somebody going to teach me about taking care of my cut?
  • If I go home with a drain in place, how do I take care of it? (Click here to watch and learn)
  • When do I come back for my next appointment?