HIPEC Surgery - Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy


HIPEC (Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy) surgery is a unique and targeted treatment approach that is primarily recommended for certain abdominal cancers. This procedure involves delivering heated chemotherapy drugs directly into the abdominal cavity after cytoreductive surgery (removing as much cancer tissue as possible), which is a part of certain abdomen cancer treatment plans involving the appendix, stomach, and colon. The heat enhances the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drugs, increasing their ability to kill cancer cells.

What is HIPEC (Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy) Surgery?

HIPEC surgery is a specialized treatment approach used to treat advanced abdominal cancers, including appendix, colon, or ovary cancers. During HIPEC surgery, the surgeon first removes visible tumors from the abdominal cavity (cytoreductive surgery). Then, heated chemotherapy drugs are circulated throughout the abdomen. This process helps to kill any remaining cancer cells and microscopic tumors while minimizing damage to healthy tissues. HIPEC offers a localized treatment approach, targeting cancer cells directly, thereby improving patient outcomes.

What Types of Cancer Does HIPEC Surgery Treat?

HIPEC surgery treats the following types of cancer:

How is HIPEC Surgery Performed?

HIPEC surgery is a two-step process.

How does HIPEC Procedure Work?

A SPECT scan consists of two steps:


The hyperthermic characteristic of the HIPEC procedure involves elevating the temperature of the chemotherapy solution circulated within the abdominal cavity to approximately 41–43 °C. This elevated temperature enhances the effectiveness of the chemotherapy, improving its ability to penetrate cancer cells and increasing treatment efficacy against abdominal cancers.


The intraperitoneal characteristic of HIPEC treatment involves delivering chemotherapy directly into the abdominal cavity. The heated chemotherapy solution is circulated within the peritoneal space, targeting any remaining cancer cells. This localized delivery maximizes chemotherapy concentration in the area of need, improving treatment outcomes. It also helps reduce damage to healthy cells and the side effects associated with it.

What Should You Expect When You Have a HIPEC Operation?

The patients may expect the following during and after a HIPEC surgery:

During HIPEC

The procedure of HIPEC surgery is divided into two parts: cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC, or hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. First, surgeons will perform cytoreductive surgery to remove as much cancer tissue as possible from the abdominal cavity. Once this is completed, a heated chemotherapy solution will be circulated within the abdomen for a specified duration, typically around 1-2 hours. The nurse will closely monitor vital signs throughout the procedure, ensuring comfort and safety. After surgery, you'll be closely monitored in the hospital for recovery and potential side effects of the treatment.


After HIPEC surgery, patients may expect to remain in the hospital for some time. They may experience fatigue, pain, and discomfort, which medication can manage. The patient is closely monitored for complications and provided with support as needed. Patients may need to follow specific dietary and activity guidelines as they recover. Attending follow-up appointments is essential to evaluating the condition and adjusting the treatment plan if necessary.

What are the Potential Advantages of HIPEC Operation?

The potential advantages of HIPEC cancer treatment surgery include:

Enhanced Targeting of Cancer Cells, Which May Not Be Possible With Standard Chemotherapy

During HIPEC surgery, various cancer drugs used in chemotherapy are delivered precisely to the abdominal cavity and not to the entire body. Standard chemotherapy is systemic, travels throughout the body, and destroys cancer cells and healthy cells. HIPEC, on the other hand, is localized and only targets cells in the abdominal cavity. Due to its enhanced accuracy and efficiency, HIPEC can be a better treatment approach for certain abdominal cancers than standard chemotherapy.

What are the Side Effects of HIPEC Surgery?

Some of the side effects of HIPEC surgery are:

Why Should You Choose HCG for HIPEC Surgery?

HCG Cancer Centre is a top cancer treatment hospital in India for the diagnosis and treatment of various early-stage and advanced-stage cancers originating from different body organs. This cancer hospital is equipped with the latest treatment options for managing advanced abdominal cancers, including HIPEC operation. We have globally trained HIPEC surgeons with experience managing complex abdominal cancer with enhanced personalization and patient-centricity. The operating rooms here are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and advanced instruments to improve outcomes.

HIPEC Surgeons at HCG Oncology

Across the HCG network, we have some of the best HIPEC surgeons in India who have completed their specialized training at reputed national and international medical institutes. From the first consultation to the follow-up after treatment, these specialists are trained to put their patients at the center of their care journey, involve them in treatment-related discussions, and help patients lead a fulfilling life after their treatment at HCG.


HIPEC surgery serves as a targeted approach for certain advanced-stage abdominal cancers by delivering heated chemotherapy directly into the abdominal cavity. While outcomes vary, HIPEC can provide significant benefits, including improved disease control and potentially extended survival, offering hope for patients with advanced cancers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Recovery time for HIPEC varies but typically involves a hospital stay of 1-2 weeks and several weeks to months at home.

After HIPEC surgery, you may gradually resume eating once bowel function returns and your medical team approves. Typically, this occurs within a few days to a week post-surgery, starting with clear liquids and advancing to a regular diet as tolerated.

HIPEC surgery can be associated with varying levels of discomfort or pain, depending on factors such as individual pain tolerance, the extent of the procedure, and post-operative care.

HIPEC can be used as both a palliative and curative treatment, depending on the individual patient's circumstances and the stage of their cancer. HIPEC surgery may also be used in patients with no cure for stomach cancer (advanced stomach cancer) to manage symptoms.

Yes, you may undergo HIPEC surgery more than once, depending on your circumstances, such as the development of a new tumor or a cancer recurrence.

To prepare for HIPEC surgery, consult your medical team, undergo evaluations, educate yourself about the procedure, follow pre-operative instructions, arrange support, and plan post-operative care.

In open HIPEC, the abdomen is left open during surgery, allowing direct access to the abdominal cavity.

In closed HIPEC, the abdomen is closed after cytoreductive surgery, and the heated chemotherapy solution is circulated through closed tubing systems.

The success of HIPEC surgery can vary depending on factors such as the type and stage of cancer, the extent of tumor removal during surgery, and individual patient factors.

The life expectancy after HIPEC surgery varies widely. It depends on factors such as the type and stage of cancer, the extent of tumor removal during surgery, response to treatment, and individual patient factors such as overall health and age.

Hair loss is not a common side effect of HIPEC surgery because the chemotherapy drugs used are delivered directly into the abdominal cavity, targeting cancer cells in that area.