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Heated Intraperitoneal Chemoperfusion (HIPEC)

Heated intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC) is a form of chemotherapy performed in conjunction with surgery to remove abdominal tumors. Look to UC San Diego Health's surgical oncology team for your HIPEC treatment. 

Leaders in the Field

UC San Diego Health's surgical oncology team is internationally recognized for its expertise in HIPEC. We perform more of these procedures than any medical center in the western United States with high success rates for our patients. See HIPEC Outcome Data.

Understanding HIPEC

You may have heard of HIPEC under another name: IPHC, chemo-bath, HIIC (heated intraoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy), intraperitoneal chemohyperthermia, continuous hyperthermic peritoneal perfusion or hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy.

HIPEC, a form of chemotherapy during surgery, is performed at the end of surgery to remove abdominal tumors. Once all visible tumors have been removed in a process called "cytoreduction," your surgeon continuously circulates a heated, sterile chemotherapy solution throughout the abdominal cavity to kill any remaining cancer cells that cannot be seen. 

Giving the chemotherapy in the abdomen at the time of surgery allows for greater concentrations of the drug where it is needed. Heating the chemotherapy allows it to more effectively kill cancer cells with fewer side effects.

Cancers Treated with HIPEC

HIPEC is an effective treatment for cancers in the lining of the abdominal cavity, including pseudomyxoma peritonei, mucinous adenocarcinoma of the appendix and peritoneal mesothelioma. Additionally, peritoneal metastases from colon cancer can often be successfully treated with HIPEC. Our team may also collaborate with other Moores Cancer Center surgeons treating other cancer types, including gynecologic oncologists who treat advanced ovarian cancer.

Are You a Candidate for HIPEC?

It is important you discus HIPEC therapy with your care team to determine if it's right for you. Items that can help your physician with treatment planning include:

  • Recent radiology films and reports (CT, PET, MRI) of abdomen, pelvis and chest
  • Pathology report
  • Tumor markers: CEA, CA 19-9, CA 125
  • Operative notes from all prior surgeries related to this disease
  • Summary of all chemotherapy treatment regimens

HIPEC in the News

UC San Diego Health experts have been profiled by CBS Evening News, The New York Times and numerous other media outlets. Read Resources for HIPEC Patients to find news stories on HIPEC, along with articles published in medical journals about the procedure.


Heated Chemotherapy: How It Works

UC San Diego Health surgical oncologist Joel Baumgartner, MD, describes the HIPEC procedure.

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