Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemoperfusion (HIPEC)

What is HIPEC?

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC) is a treatment option for advanced cancer that delivers an ultra-concentrated, heated chemotherapy solution directly to the abdomen during surgery. Our surgical oncologists have many years of experience offering this technique to patients with cancer in the abdominal cavity. SCI remains the only provider of HIPEC services in Western Washington. 

Who is eligible for HIPEC?

HIPEC is best suited for patients who have cancers restricted to the abdomen. These patients may include those with pseudomyxoma peritoneii, colorectal, appendiceal, stomach, ovarian or primary peritoneal cancer. However, other conditions may benefit from this treatment. Talk with your provider about whether you might be a good candidate for HIPEC treatment. 

How does HIPEC work?

HIPEC is a two-part surgery. The first part includes cytoreductive surgery, during which the surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen and removes as much visible tumor as possible. 

The second part involves a set of in-flow and out-flow catheters that connect the abdomen to a perfusion machine, which circulates the heated solution. Chemotherapy is added to the solution in two doses over a 90-minute period. The chemotherapy solution flows into the abdomen and then back into the machine, where it is warmed before returning to the abdomen. During this process, the surgeon gently agitates the abdomen to help ensure that the chemotherapy solution reaches all abdominal organs. At the conclusion of therapy, the chemotherapy solution is drained and the abdomen is rinsed. 

What are the advantages of HIPEC?

• HIPEC utilizes a higher dose of chemotherapy solution to ultimately help control the spread of cancer in the abdomen.
• Heat sensitizes cancer cells to chemotherapy.
• HIPEC allows for a more focused treatment by “bathing” abdominal cancers in chemotherapy.