Center for Liver, Pancreas, and Complex Cancers

Center for Liver, Pancreas, and Complex Cancers

Welcome to the Center for Liver, Pancreas, and Complex Cancers

Founded in 1995, the Association of South Bay Surgeons is a team of expert cancer surgeons dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of complex abdominal diseases, especially tumors. We are passionate about the care of patients with complex symptoms and problems.

Our board-certified surgeons have undergone extra training in surgical oncology / cancer surgery, worked for years at major universities, and coordinate regularly with other specialists to provide you with the best care. Using the latest techniques, we provide cutting-edge solutions to difficult problems.

These highly trained surgeons look for the best solution for the disease and the patient. Your goals are our goals. This includes noninvasive, laparoscopic, robotic, surgical, or even nonsurgical. With weekly Tumor Board discussions with other specialists, we bring a team of specialists to your case.

Our surgeons’ extensive training offers them more experience helping patients with ALL complex diseases, including non-cancerous problems. We frequently see people who have seen multiple other physicians who haven’t been able to diagnose the problem. Our expert surgeons can help with the diagnosis and treatment of complex abdominal problems, even if it isn’t cancer.

We perform the most complex esophageal, gastric, liver, pancreatic, and abdominal operations. By being high volume surgeons, we are able to achieve the best outcomes. Almost all of these operations are performed with minimally invasive, laparoscopic, or robotic techniques.  Esophagectomy, hepatectomy, total gastrectomy, whipple, distal pancreatectomy, and sarcoma surgeries are a regular part of our practice. The majority of our cancer operations are done laparoscopically or robotically, where smaller incisions mean less pain, faster recovery, and better quality of life. We perform laparoscopic esophagectomy, laparoscopic liver surgery, laparoscopic gastrectomy, and laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy.

See more about the operations we perform.

Our experts focus on complex cancers such as esophageal, gastric, pancreatic, liver, gallbladder, and bile duct cancers. We also frequently see patients with challenging diseases, such as esophageal diverticula, gastric dysmotility / gastroparesis, bile duct strictures, liver masses, and pancreatitis (especially autoimmune pancreatitis).

We are highly sought after to evaluate and diagnose unknown abdominal tumors or masses, or new abnormalities seen on US, CT or MRI scans.

See our more compreensive list.

We believe urgency is one of the most important things we can offer to improve patient outcomes. Every patient who brings a concern to our clinic is seen within one week. If the concern is cancerous, we present the case at a Tumor Board, to ensure that every surgeon has the opportunity to weigh in on the best treatment method. We want our patients to benefit from the collective expertise of every doctor in our practice and not just the one doctor who is providing them with immediate service!

We maintain the highest standards of surgery using the latest research and technology. The only way to do this is recording and analyzing our data regularly. We maintain a database which is completely secure and anonymous to keep track of our outcomes.This allows us to leverage what we have learned from all of our past cases while keeping patient confidentiality at the highest levels.

See our results. (where should this link to?)

Meet Our Experts

You won’t find a specialized team as talented as ours in any medical community. Working with both of the area’s American College of Surgeons accredited community cancer centers, we are the cancer surgery leaders in the South Bay. Patients receive the most advanced treatments for difficult problems like metastatic cancer, liver / pancreatic cancer, and many others without having to travel.

Our surgical oncologists lead the multi-specialty discussions at local hospital tumor boards. We work closely with advanced GI doctors, medical and radiation specialists, and pathologists. Our experts meet weekly to discuss cases, design personalized treatment plans and review outcomes.

It’s not just about top credentials and the newest technology; its about a committment to being the best and going beyond. Our surgical oncologists have honed their knowledge base over years of specialty training and experience. Combining that expertise with true compassion for a person fighting a difficult disease yields the best outcome.

Neil H. Bhayani

Neil H. Bhayani

MD, MHS, FACS

Oncologic Surgeon and Reflux / Esophageal Specialist

Services

Our team of expert cancer surgeons brings specialized training, experience and dedication to the best outcome for you through innovative techniques.

Intraoperative Ultrasound

In every liver and pancreatic operation, we use high frequency and high resolution ultrasound to find & treat every tumor. This frequently finds tumors not seen on CT, MRI, or PET so that you receive complete treatment. We use ultrasound during surgery, real-time, to find and avoid nearby blood vessels and make surgery safer. Careful use of the ultrasound during surgery helps focus on removing only the abnormal tumor tissue. This helps preserve as much normal pancreas and liver as possible, reducing the risk of diabetes after surgery. To provide the best care, we have a specialized laparoscopic ultrasound probe for use in minimally invasive surgery.

Whipple Procedure

The Whipple operation, known in technical terms as a pancreaticoduodenectomy, is the operation to remove tumors of the head and neck of the pancreas, lower portion of the bile duct, duodenum, and the ampulla of Vater. The operation removes the entire duodenum, the head of the pancreas, bile duct, gallbladder and surrounding lymph nodes.

This operation should be done only by specialists and those doing the operation regularly. Our pancreatic surgeons perform > 20 pancreatic operations annually, which results in better outcomes.

Distal Pancreatectomy

A distal pancreatectomy is the removal of the body and tail of the pancreas. Because of our expertise, we successfully complete this operation with minimally invasive or laparoscopic techniques in > 90% of cases. Laparoscopic surgery is Faster than robotic surgery with smaller incisions, and lower chances of blood clots and hernias. Most people are back home 2-3 days after surgery.

RAMPS (Radical Antegrade Modular Pancreatectomy)

This radical surgery is similar to a distal pancreatectomy but removes more potential tumor tissue and lymph nodes behind the pancreas. This technique is used only by the most advanced pancreatic surgeons to reduce the chance of cancer relapse. In our hands, this is performed laparoscopically and for every cancer.

Total Pancreatectomy

A total pancreatectomy is the removal of the entire pancreas. When we diagnose people with genetic disorders or multiple pancreatic tumors, this is the preferred approach in treatment.

Extended / D2 Lymphadenectomy

Removing more lymph nodes during gastric cancer surgery reduces cancer relapse and provides the best chance of cure.  This is a routine part of all of our gastric cancer operations. This is usually done laparoscopically to maintain your immune system and reduce pain.

Radiofrequency and Microwave Ablation

Ablation is the technique of using heat generating needles to destroy liver tumors. Our expert liver surgeons use this technique in combination with surgery. Sometimes this can be used instead of surgery. This is less invasive, and in many cases equally effective. Come see if you can benefit from a less invasive approach to complete tumor treatment.

Nutrition Education

We are dedicated to the complete care of the whole person. Nutrition is an important part of preparing for and recovering from surgery. Our surgeons will spend time to help you tune up your nutrition. We have a nutrition specialist and even a blog dedicated to healthy eating habits.

Genetic Assessment and Counseling

Working closely with certified local genetic counselors, our specialist surgeons will make sure to understand your personal biology. In some cases, this helps find other precancerous conditions for you or your family. Understanding your genetics helps develop a personalized approach to your disease.

Laparoscopic Surgery

Advanced laparoscopic surgery is the new era of modern surgery. The highly experienced physicians at Association of South Bay Surgeons use this surgical technique to deal with a wide variety of disease and illness. With the tiny incisions, recovery is much faster and easier than it would be with open surgery.

Diseases

Our surgeons are experts in complex abdominal diseases, tumors, and cancers. We enjoy helping to educate our patients and their families / friends about these problems. While there is a lot of information on the internet, it can be difficult to know what is reliable or trustworthy. In order to help our patients educate themselves and to help our patients be empowered to participate in their care, we have picked good sources of information for some of the common problems we see and treat.

Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Carcinoma

Bile Duct Diseases

Biliary strictures may reflect underlying malignancy despite negative pathology. Our specialists coordinate and work closely with gastroenterology on these challenging cases. When appropriate our surgeons can offer laparoscopic biliary resection and even lymph node dissection, not offered at most tertiary centers.

  • Bile Duct Stones
  • Bile Duct Strictures
  • Bile Duct Cancer / Tumor
  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Choledochal Cyst

Gallbladder Cancer

  • Radical Cholecystectomy & Portal Lymph Node Dissection

Gastric / Stomach Cancer

The experienced gastric surgeons at ASBS perform laparoscopic resections routinely. Trust our surgeons to perform the extensive node dissections recommended in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines and shown to improve survival.

  • CDH1 gene mutation
  • GIST

Liver Cancer / Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

Primary and metastatic liver tumors can have cure rates of 30-50% with surgery and chemotherapy. Even bilobar, extensive disease can be effectively treated. Our surgeons have written textbook chapters on liver surgery and published videos on laparoscopic major liver resection.

  • Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma

Pancreatic Diseases

Let our surgeons help workup pancreatic lesions, using specialized CT & MRI imaging, which can often avoid unnecessary invasive procedures.  When surgery is required, laparoscopic pancreatectomy reduces pain and protocols speed recovery.

  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cyst
  • Periampullary Mass
  • Ampullary Cancer
  • Duodenal Cancer
  • Whipple & Pancreatectomy
  • Distal Pancreatectomy
  • Central Pancreatectomy
  • Puestow Procedure

Patient Resources

Our surgeons are patient advocates. We are proud to partner with great organizations locally and nationally, to bring resources to our patients.

Information

While it can be overwhelming to find good information on the internet, the following websites are great patient friendly locations for up-to-date information

  • The Mayo Clinic
  • American Cancer Society
  • Cancer.Gov
  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network

Resources

Many national and local groups have resources available to individuals, for free. Whether a counseling session, yoga class, or menu of complementary / alternative treatments, these organizations strive to help people with complex diseases and cancers.

  • Redondo Beach Cancer Support Community
  • American Cancer Society
  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN)
  • American Liver Foundation
  • No Stomach for Cancer

PARTNERS