SANTA BARBARA Dr. W. Charles Conway MD, FACS, the first fellowship-trained surgical oncologist to join the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center at Sansum Clinic, performed over 20 pancreatic surgeries last year at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital to help treat many patients with pancreatic cancer, the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital announced Thursday.
Dr. Conway completed general surgery training at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI and a surgical oncology fellowship at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, CA, which included broad surgical oncology training as well as focused study in the treatment of gastroesophageal cancers at the University of Southern California, and liver and pancreas cancers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. From there he accepted a position at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, LA where he spent eight years as a high volume pancreas surgeon.
“Due to the complexity of pancreatic surgery, especially the Whipple procedure, the Leapfrog Group, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the American Cancer Society strongly recommend that patients who need pancreatic surgery seek out hospitals and physicians with experience and a recorded “high-volume” of at least 15 to 20 pancreatic surgeries a year”, said Hospital spokesperson Maria Zate in a press release.
According to the American Cancer Association, surgery offers the only realistic chance to treat pancreatic cancer. Data show high-volume surgeons at high-volume hospitals have higher success rates and fewer complications, including lower mortality rates, Ms. Zate said.
“The Whipple procedure is the most common operation to remove a cancer in the head of the pancreas. During this operation, the surgeon removes the head of the pancreas, a portion of the bile duct, the duodenum and surrounding lymph nodes,” said Ms. Zate.