Surgery (or ‘having an operation’) can remove a tumour. A surgeon does this job with a team of other people who help whilst in the operating room (or sometimes called ‘theatre’)

During surgery, the person having the operation will usually have been given a general anaesthetic so they are asleep and don’t feel anything – or see what’s going on.


During surgery a surgeon might remove the tumour and some of the area around the tumour.

Surgery can be used to do a biopsy. A biopsy is when doctors take a sample of tissue or cells for testing. Doctors can take this sample in different ways, such as by surgically removing some tissue (such as a lump) or by using a needle to draw out a tissue sample.

During surgery an anaesthetist (pronounced an-NEE-sth-tist) uses medicine to put the patient into a kind of deep sleep. This means they don’t feel pain, hear or see anything. That’s good news!

After surgery the patient will more than likely need bandages on their body where they had the operation. They will also need lots of rest for a few days afterwards to help them recover.


How long will they be in hospital?

It might be for one day or a few weeks as it depends on their treatment plan and what the doctor recommends. To find out more, ask someone you trust.

If they have surgery will they need chemo or radiotherapy too?

Maybe. Every cancer is different – oncologists decide what medicines will work for different cancers. That might include surgery, plus chemo or radiotherapy – whatever has the best chance of getting rid of those cancer cells!

Will they only need surgery once?

Sometimes people with cancer need surgery more than once. it depends on how the cancer is growing and what the treatment plan is.

I'm worried about the surgery

That’s normal. Remember, the hospital team are really clever and well trained and they will do the best job they can. If you feel unsure, speak with someone you trust.


Surgical Instruments

Surgical instruments are the tools a doctor or surgeon needs to remove the cancer and help your body get better. A patient cannot feel the doctor doing the surgery because they will have had something called an anaesthetic, which numbs the body from pain and places the patient in a deep sleep while the surgeon operates.

Hospital Bed

A hospital bed is specifically designed for patients in hospital or other health care facilities. These beds have special features both for the comfort and well-being of the patient as well as ease of access for the doctors and nurses looking after them. Common features include adjustable height for the entire bed, the head and the feet, adjustable side rails and electronic buttons to operate both the bed and connect other nearby electronic devices.

Hospital Mask

To keep the operating room germ-free, the people who work there wear special clothes as well as caps over their hair and masks over their mouth and nose to avoid spreading germs. They even wear disposable booties over their shoes! They might all look alike, but everyone in the Operating Room has a different and important job to do as part of the expert treatment team.

IV Drip

An IV Drip is also sometimes known as a cannula, a drip or just IV. It is a short, small plastic tube that is put into the patients vein using a needle. The Plastic tube is then left in the vein so that fluids and medicines can be given directly into the body through the bloodstream. It can also sometimes be used to take blood samples.

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