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For the first time in Cuba, minimally invasive surgery for esophageal cancer

CirugiaFor the first time in Cuba, the National Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology (INOR) is performing minimally invasive esophagectomy in the lateral-prone position (lying face down and with the head on its side), which not only avoids respiratory complications that often occur when the cancer located in this area of the body is surgically removed, but also helps to improve postoperative recovery, as surgeon Ivanis Ruiz Calderón Cabrera told Granma International.

Dr. Carlos Díaz Mayo emphasized that the possibility of extirpating tissues around the esophagus using this technique guarantees the quality and prognosis of the surgery, by reducing the possibilities of cancer cell propagation.

Esophageal cancer is a rare condition, representing around 3% of all types of cancer, noted INOR Director Luis Curbelo Alfonso, but it is extremely difficult to treat.

Dr. Curbelo highlighted that minimal access surgery has been consolidated in the last four years at INOR, where 15 – 18% of the country’s cancer patients are treated. Today, this technique is used with one in three patients, and although the procedure is not applicable to all types of cancer, the goal is that all those that can be treated with this method are, and the expertise of our professionals and necessary resources made available, he stressed.

“Minimal access surgery requires advanced technology and expensive materials, but its expansion is a priority for the Cuban health system,” concluded Curbelo Alfonso.

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