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We provide surgery and multimodality treatment for neoplasms of the digestive system (esophagus, stomach, small intestines, colon, rectum, liver pancreas, and biliary tree). We also provide surgical care to treat benign diseases of the digestive system. Here, we would like to provide general information about the task and concept of our department, the Department of Gastroenterological Surgery (formerly, the Department of Surgery II). Please kindly refer to other parts of this website, written by our experts, for further information on the individual disease entity (we regret to confess, however, that most details are written in Japanese language).

Whether a cancer can be cured or not is undoubtedly a serious issue, not only for the patients and their families and friends but also for the medical professionals who are assigned to treat the disease. However, we shall have to disclose the truth that the prospect for cure depends quite heavily on the stage of the disease (or how far the disease had progressed) at the time it was detected. It is not usually a case that the magical hands of a prodigy surgeon cure what is otherwise incurable. We are therefore trained to evaluate the stage of the disease as accurately as possible. After the staging, we will consider in detail which treatment modality is the most appropriate for the patient from the viewpoint of curability and minimally invasiveness.

Some early-stage cancers have such good prognosis that the disease will most likely be cured provided an adequate surgery is performed. If such is the case, it has become increasingly important nowadays to achieve the same outcome with the least possible discomfort and damage to the body. This could be accomplished through various types of function-preserving surgery and minimally invasive approach such as laparoscopic surgery. On the other hand, it is of utmost importance to avoid unfortunate outcomes such as disease recurrence or unexpected surgical complication that are attributable to offering a suboptimal or insufficient surgical procedure. We are capable of offering recommendations taking into account various confounding factors, and will always explain to a patient why we think a certain procedure is more suitable than others. Of course, the patient is the one to finally decide on which treatment to receive, based on our recommendations and second opinions of any other expert he or she might opt to consult.

On the other hand, a patient with more advanced disease may benefit from a multidisciplinary treatment strategy that combines surgery with other modalities such as chemotherapy and irradiation. These adjuvant treatments could be offered before or after surgery, depending on the evidences generated by recent clinical trials. Hard evidence or other good enough reasons always exist for every toxic or invasive treatment modality we offer. We will try our best to cure even the nastiest of the diseases, and in the process, we are willing to explain to a patient why we think the treatment we have offered is the most appropriate.

We shall have to emphasize that a decent multidisciplinary treatment cannot be delivered by the hands of a surgeon only. Needless to say, we are fully supported by first-rate gastroenterologists, anesthesiologists, radiology oncologists, medical oncologists, nurses, pharmacologists, and other medical staffs and clinical coordinators. In addition, some patients are elderly and may suffer from serious comorbidities, which would mean that we must seek for further assistance from medical staffs outside of the community of oncology experts. This is where we benefit from being a part of Nagoya University Hospital, where experts in every field of medical science are available to serve the patient’s needs. As a member of the big team, we will ensure that our patients receive all the benefit of being taken care of at Nagoya University Hospital.

It is important to be conscious that the patient is an essential part of a medical team to overcome the illnesses. All drugs have risks for adverse effects. All surgeries have risks for complications. Even a meticulous surgery by a top-notch surgeon will not be able to reduce the morbidity to zero. In contrast, meticulous postoperative management will invariably help a patient to cope with and overcome the complications. In addition, it may be worth remembering that there are several things a patient can do before and after surgery to help himself (herself). Not only surgical skills of the surgeons but adequate preparation before surgery and appropriate postoperative management through the patients themselves are essential for uneventful postoperative course. This is the reasons that we are always grateful to the patients who are determined to do everything they can to recover quickly.

We will do our best to offer our patients the best surgical service. Please do not hesitate to be referred to us in case you or your family needs surgical treatment, especially in case you were informed that you or your family is burdened with cancer.

Yasuhiro Kodera, MD, PhD, FACS
Professor and Chairman
Department of Gastroenterological Surgery
Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine

NAGOYA UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL
65 Tsurumai-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya 466-8560 TEL 052-741-2111

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