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Surgery may be recommended to remove a gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor, as well as any nearby lymph nodes or tissues that also contain (or are suspected to contain) cancerous cells. Surgical resection can be highly effective for patients with small gastrointestinal tumors, especially if those tumors have not spread beyond their original locations. For tumors that have started to spread, a more extensive operation may be followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy for a more comprehensive approach to treatment.

There are several different surgeries that can be recommended for a patient with a gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor; the most appropriate option will depend on the size, stage and location of the tumor, as well as the patient’s overall health. The most common types of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor surgery include:

  • A local excision, which involves the removal of the visible tumor along with some of the surrounding lymph nodes and tissues
  • An endoscopic resection, which is similar to a local excision but performed with the assistance of an endoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument with a camera attached to the end)
  • A complete or partial resection of the organ in which the carcinoid tumor developed, such as the bowel, liver, stomach, appendix, colon or rectum
  • Radiofrequency ablation, which is the destruction of cancerous cells through a small probe that releases high-energy waves directly into the tumor
  • Cryosurgery, which is the surgical destruction of cancerous cells through the application of extreme cold, often performed with ultrasound guidance
  • Hepatic artery embolization, which blocks the blood vessel that delivers blood to the liver, essentially “starving” the tumor of its blood supply.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, our surgeons assess every patient on an individual basis to determine which procedure offers the most potential benefits and the fewest possible side effects. And, because each of our surgeons specializes in a specific disease site, our patients receive treatment from experts who truly understand the unique nature of their diagnoses. Furthermore, Moffitt has been ranked High Performing in terms of gastroenterology surgery, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals for Cancer listing.

Referrals are not required to consult with Moffitt’s expert oncologists about gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor surgery. To meet with one of our skilled surgeons, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online.