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HIPEC - Anyone been through this procedure?

strick7106's picture
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2013

HIPEC - Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy - Going to have this surgery/procedure done the first week of December.  All the research I've been able to do sure sounds positive.  My surgeon has done hundreds of these procedures and at this point (colon cancer met. to small bowel and abdominal cavity) we're hopeful for a good result.  Curious if any of you out there on the board have personally had the procedure and what was your experience?


Posts: 2195
Joined: Oct 2011

I am not sure about here but several on thee colon club forum have had hipec.

LivinginNH's picture
Posts: 1441
Joined: Apr 2010



Yes, my Rick had it done in Nov. '10, but the cancer came back (or was never really gone) only three months later.  I know from speaking to others out here that most (not all) have had the same experience, it simply came back within a few months.   I only know of one individual "SkiFletch" on the colon cancer board who had it done and is still doing well, as far as I know, but he was really young when diagnosed (20's).  You mention that you've only read positive things about HIPEC, would that be from surgeons or patients?? Big difference there.  You might want to ask your surgeon how many of his HIPEC patients are still cancer free a year out from surgery.

Take care,


abrub's picture
Posts: 1611
Joined: Mar 2010

It's either HIPEC, or as I had, cytoreduction with non-heated IntraPeritneal chemo as post-op outpt tx.  I had 5 cycles of IP chemo. Be prepared to feel like you've been run over by a truck.  However, life does get better.  I know of lots of people who are back to full activity.

Who is doing your surgery?

LivinginNH's picture
Posts: 1441
Joined: Apr 2010


Yes, it's true, Appendix cancer treated by HIPEC has a much better prognosis since the cancer is on the surface. But as the article below states, doctors are now getting into the colon cancer HIPEC business because it's so profitable, not necessarily because it works.  Here's a snippet from an ariticle that I just found:

"The therapy, which couples extensive abdominal surgery with blasts of heated chemotherapy to the abdominal cavity and its organs, was once a niche procedure used mainly against rare cancers of the appendix. Most academic medical centers shunned it.

Recent converts include University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, and even Massachusetts General. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is looking at it, according to people in the field. Advocates predict that the number of procedures could grow to 10,000 a year from about 1,500 now.

But Dr. Ryan, a gastrointestinal oncologist, suggested in an interview that the procedure was being extended to colorectal cancer because “you can’t make a living doing this procedure in appendix cancer patients.”


As you can probably tell, I'm not a proponent of HIPEC surgery, escpeially since doctors are now actually admiting that this surgery is simply a cash cow. 

Take care,



thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1283
Joined: Oct 2010

I was scheduled to have the HIPEC procedure after my surgery in June.  The Surgeons did a great surgery on me.  (UCSD Morse Cancer Center)  They found and removed tumors in my pelvis, abdomen, colon, small intestine. etc...  They ended up not doing the HIPEC after the surgery because I had to many mets.  They felt the added stress to my body with the HIPEC was not worth the risks.


It all worked out good for me!  I am in a no growth period.  I am moving as good as ever. I feel good and I do nnot look exhausted, nor do I feel exhausted. 


Go for the Surgery and HIPEC.  Do not be disappointed if you do not get the HIPEC.  The people I had spoke to, told me they were sick for about 2 months after the surgery.  After that they felt better and got stronger.  This is a large amount of chemo for the body to get rid of.


Best Always,  mike 

Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

My husband had this surgery.  Cancer came back four months later.  Showed up in the liver.  We were unable to get it under control.  He passed way three months ago today.



traci43's picture
Posts: 575
Joined: Jul 2007

Strick - I had HIPEC in 2009 and was cancer free for about a year, but it came back in the peritoneum where it always is for me.  Big difference between appendix cancer where mets are on the surface and colon cancer where mets are deeper in tissues, so it's not as effective.  I do know of one stage IV colon cancer patient that had HIPEC in December 2008 and is still cancer free today. Someone said recently on this board that even Dr. Sugarbaker, who invented the procedure, has stopped doing HIPEC for colon cancer--I don't know if that's true.  If you decide to go ahead, make sure your surgeon has done a lot of these surgeries.  Studies show that it takes a minimum of 250 to be proficient.  The surgery is long and tough 8-10 hours.  You're in ICU for 2 days with a ventilator tube and pumped full of fluid to flush out the chemo.  My ID band was so tight at one point, yet I was able to slip it off without cutting when I left the hospital.  You'll be in the hospital 7-10 days, day 4 was the worst for me because the tube rubbed my trachea so much that it hurt like crazy.  I recovered pretty quickly and was stripping wallpaper in my new house 4 weeks post surgery.  Surgeon would not let me start chemo for 3 months and I think that's what helped recurrence.  Also, once you've had the surgery your insides are very sticky and my surgeon (not the HIPEC one) is reluctant to go back in because of that.

Best of luck to you whatever you choose to do.  Traci

Dumbfounded's picture
Posts: 25
Joined: Sep 2013

I was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer (cancer located in 5 areas of abdominal cavity and 22 lymph nodes) in April 2013. I had surgery to remove from all areas with HIPEC on May 6,2013. I started chemotherapy in June and by October, I went into remission. I am still undergoing Xeloda pills with Avastin to be on the safe side (according to my oncologist). Took a little time to recover from all of it ( some good days and some not so good) but the key is to make yourself move around. Just don't lay around. Get up and walk as much as you can. 

It is all up to you to decide if this procedure is the way to go or not, but in my experience with it, I am very glad I did. Think positive, keep your hopes up, and have faith.



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