Dr. Greg Marchand develops record-setting cancer surgery

This is the scar left after typical surgery for cancerous tumors.

Dr. Greg Marchand of Mesa recently became the first U.S. surgeon to earn a prestigious accreditation for his outstanding record of performing and promoting minimally invasive procedures. The World Record Academy awarded Dr. Greg J. Marchand and his surgical team the world’s record for removing the largest cancerous tumor — a 17-centimeter (6.69-inch) cancerous ovarian tumor about the size of a junior sized soccer ball —using an incision smaller than a dime.

Dr. Greg Marchand and his team completed the procedure using In-Bag Morcellation, a technique developed by Dr. Marchand in which the tumor is bagged and broken down so the particles can be extracted one by one laparoscopically. Otherwise, patients would need a sizeable incision to surgically remove such a large mass, requiring additional recovery time, pain, risk, and a delay in chemotherapy or other medications. Dr. Marchand, a board-certified OB-GYN specializing in minimally invasive surgery,

This is the result utilizing Dr. Greg Marchand’s In-Bag Morcellation technique for minimally invasive surgery for cancerous tumors.

worked closely with a gynecologic oncologist in completing this amazing surgery. While removing cysts and tumors using laparoscopic surgery is a standard practice, it is rare to use the technique in conjunction with an ovarian cancer staging procedure.

Dr. Greg Marchand placed an Endocatch bag (Endo Catch™ II 15 mm Specimen Pouch) around the tumor through incisions made through the belly button, then brought the lip of the bag to the incision. He then broke apart the mass inside the bag and took the pieces out.Marchand said the most difficult part of the surgery was removing the cancerous mass without spilling any cancer cells into the abdomen. If cancerous material spilled back into the abdomen, the cancer could have spread and worsened the patient’s prognosis. The World Record Academy verified that this type of technique had never been accomplished previously on any malignant tumor this large.

Dr. Marchand, who was diagnosed in 2010 with mixed-cell carcinoma (an aggressive cancer of the testes), said it is particularly gratifying that his technique can help cancer patients. He received surgery and treatments in 2010 and has been in remission ever since. “I know what it’s like to face a diagnosis of cancer,” Marchand said. “In my opinion, advancements in the surgical treatment of cancer are just as important as the newest cancer-fighting drugs and chemotherapy agents. If we can use minimally invasive surgery to take some of the recovery time and complications out of cancer surgery, then I think we’ve really done a lot of good for patients fighting cancer.”

This is
 Dr. Marchand’s second world record in laparoscopic surgery. In 2008, Dr. Greg Marchand was awarded a Guinness World Record for the removal of the largest uterus laparoscopically. In this case, it was not a cancerous mass, but a seven-pound benign (non-cancerous) uterus that was removed. In addition to the two world records, Dr. Marchand is extensively published in laparoscopic surgery publications and was recently recognized as the first U.S. surgeon to receive SOEMIS recognition (Surgeon of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Surgery) from The American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopist’s (AAGL.org) and the Surgical Review Corporation.

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