MESA, Arizona – (Jan. 26, 2017) The World Record Academy recently awarded Dr. Greg J. Marchand a world record for completing an astonishing laparoscopic procedure with another surgeon. They removed a 17-centimeter cancerous ovarian tumor using only small slits in the abdomen, a technique called a laparoscopy. Such operations are common in the United States, but Dr. Marchand says that surgeons performing an ovarian cancer staging procedure through tiny holes (laparoscopic) is very rare.
The surgeons – in a truly remarkable accomplishment – were able to complete the procedure without spilling any of the cancerous material back into the patient. The two surgeons received a world record for this accomplishment recently after extensive research showed no other laparoscopic ovarian cancer-treating procedure had ever been completed on a tumor this large.
Marchand said the most difficult part of the surgery was removing the very large cancerous mass without spilling any of the cancer back into the abdomen. If any cancerous material slipped back into the abdomen the cancer could have spread and worsened the patient’s prognosis. For this reason, this procedure is most commonly performed with a very large incision, not the tiny laparoscopic holes as used by these two surgeons. The World Record Academy helped verify that this has never been accomplished previously on any malignant tumor this large.
This accomplishment is very meaningful to Dr. Marchand, who is a cancer survivor. Dr. Marchand was diagnosed in 2010 with mixed cell carcinoma, an aggressive cancer. He received surgery and treatment that year has been in remission since. Dr. Marchand understands the impact of a diagnosis of cancer on a patient’s life.
“I know what it’s like to face a diagnosis of cancer,” stated Dr. Marchand. “In my opinion, advancements in the surgical treatment of cancer are just as important as the newest cancer-fighting drugs and chemotherapy agents.” He continued, “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 surgical excellence. In 2008 Dr. 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 through tiny holes.
Dr. Marchand is a board-certified OB-GYN who practices in Mesa, Arizona. In addition to the two world records, Dr. Marchand is extensively published in laparoscopic surgery and was recently 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) Surgical Review Corporation (surgicalreview.org). For further information regarding Dr. Marchand and his publications and research please visit www.gregmarchandmd.com
Date of Surgery: 04/21/2015
Date of Award of World Record Academy World Record: 1/27/17
Actual Title of Record: “Successful Laparoscopic Ovarian Cancer staging Surgery on the Largest Malignant Ovarian Tumor”
Description of Technical Procedure Performed: Successful Complete Laparoscopic Ovarian Cancer Staging Procedure with Hysterectomy, Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy, omentectomy and dissection of pelvic and para-aortic lymph node dissection, and removal of 17cm large right-sided ovarian tumor. The tumor was found to be adenocarcinoma on frozen section and “Well-differentiated Adenocarcinoma with pushing invasion” on final pathology. The technique of mass removal was a modified “in-bag” morcellation invented by Dr. Marchand which included exteriorization of the mouth of the bag prior to “in-bag” morcellation. Morcellation used only blunt instruments and did not involve stretching the incision beyond the 14mm required to facilitate the laparoscopic retrieval bag. Abdominal and Pelvic washings were collected prior to the removal of the mass and ultimately proved negative.
Method of Verification of Tumor Size: Pathology specimen reconstructed, verification by board certified pathologist.
Lead Surgeon: Greg J. Marchand M.D., F.A.C.O.G., F.A.C.S., F.I.C.S, S.O.E.M.I.S.
Gynecologic Oncologist Present: Dr. Snehal Bhoola M.D. (Board Certified in Gynecologic Oncology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Greg J. Marchand M.D., F.A.C.O.G., F.A.C.S., F.I.C.S, S.O.E.M.I.S.
Practice: Marchand OBGYN PLLC
1520 S. Dobson #308
Mesa, AZ 85202
Why did it take so long for the World Record to be awarded?
To verify this record, we had to research all the other related surgeries that had been published to determine if ours was truly the largest malignant tumor ever surgically staged through completely laparoscopic means. After our research determined it was, we employed the World Record Academy who underwent their own verification process. Following the completion of these two independent verifications, we can now confidently say that this is likely the largest malignant ovarian tumor to ever undergo completely laparoscopic surgical staging.
What is “In-Bag” morcellation, how is it different from just breaking something apart, or regular morcellation?
In-Bag morcellation refers to the surgical technique of placing an object inside a bag, usually plastic, before breaking it into pieces. Usually the object is broken into small pieces so that it can be removed through small holes, thus not needing to make a large incision to remove the object. This high level of caution is reserved for objects that could contain cancerous cells. In the case of suspicion of cancerous cells, it is important not to spill the material back into the patient’s body cavities because cancer cells can “Seed” or begin new cancer colonies if they are moved around the body. In this case, we removed a 17-centimeter cancerous tumor through a hole that was approximately 1.4cm large. This technique is one of the more extreme examples of “In-Bag” morcellation.
What did Dr. Marchand invent? Did he invent laparoscopy or the Ovarian Cancer Staging Procedure?
Dr. Marchand has pioneered techniques for “In-Bag” morcellation, and particularly the technique used in this case to remove the large 17cm tumor. The technique used here involved stretching a 1.10cm incision in the umbilicus to facilitate a bag that was made to fit a 1.5cm port. Thus, the actual size of the hole after stretching around the bag was approximately 1.4cm. This invented technique also included the painstaking process of removing the mass through the port without breaking the bag. This included the use of special blunt instrumentation to remove the tumor without breaking the bag (and spilling the tumor.) Dr. Marchand did not invent laparoscopy or the Ovarian Cancer Staging procedure, but he did invent the technique of removing the large cancerous tumor, which was then added to a Laparoscopic Ovarian Cancer staging procedure.
Is Dr. Marchand a gynecologic oncologist?
No. Dr. Marchand is a generalist OBGYN with special training in minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Bhoola is board certified in gynecologic oncology and all decisions regarding the patient’s care with regard to the cancer staging were made by Dr. Bhoola. Dr. Marchand would never attempt to perform an ovarian cancer surgery without the assistance of a gynecologic oncologist, and is very appreciative for the patient care that has been given by Dr. Bhoola. Dr. Marchand has referred many patients and continues to refer to Dr. Bhoola and the other physicians in his practice.
What do the letters after Dr. Marchand’s name mean?
The letters represent honors bestowed upon Dr. Marchand by different certifying organizations. They include:
MD – Medical Doctor
FACOG – Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology – Certified by The American College/Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (acog.org)
FACS – Fellow of the American College of Surgeons – Certified by the American College of Surgeons (facs.org)
FICS- Fellow if the International College of Surgeons – Certified by The International College of Surgeons (fics.org)
SOEMIS – Surgeon of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Surgery – Certified by the Surgical Review Corporation (surgicalreview.org) and The American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (aagl.org)
Why is this record recognized by the World Record Academy and not Guinness?
Dr. Marchand has previously received a World Record from Guinness for other surgical accomplishments. Unfortunately, Guinness politely declined to recognize this achievement and said it was too specific to create a record for. We discussed the importance of recognizing cutting-edge surgical excellence in the field of cancer surgery with The World Record Academy, and they agreed to recognize the category after extensively researching the accomplishment.
What is a “Cancer Staging Surgery?”
A cancer staging surgery is a removal of the pelvic organs to treat and determine how far a cancer has spread. In this case the cancer is an ovarian cancer we are discussing. The surgery includes removal of both ovaries, the uterus, the omentum (a fatty organ in the abdomen) as well as the removal of lymph nodes and other biopsies. It is a complex surgery that is usually performed through a large incision. Although the surgery has been performed by laparoscopic techniques in the past, we believe this is the largest tumor to ever be staged using a completely laparoscopic technique.
What is so special about this record? Hasn’t cancer staging surgery been performed on larger ovarian tumors?
Yes, staging procedures have been completed on larger tumors, but we believe that this is the largest tumor to ever be staged through entirely laparoscopic techniques, meaning without cutting the patient open. The “special” part of this procedure was the removal of the extremely large mass without spilling any of the contents in the abdomen. This was performed with special instruments using a large bag. The technique involved exteriorizing the mouth of the bag and then removing the large mass bit by bit, using a technique pioneered by Dr. Marchand. There is no question that larger tumors have been staged by open-incision procedures, and that larger non-malignant tumors have been removed laparoscopically without the need for a cancer staging procedure.
How can you be sure that this is the largest tumor to ever receive laparoscopic cancer staging? What steps did you take to verify?
It is very difficult to research every single cancer staging procedure ever performed. However, we performed extensive searches of all available literature and publications regarding laparoscopic ovarian cancer staging surgery prior to presenting our claim to The World Record Academy. The World Record Academy then went on to verify the claim independently.
How would the average ovarian cancer patient benefit if all staging procedures could be performed though minimally invasive means?
If all ovarian cancer staging procedures could be performed using laparoscopic means, patients could enjoy much faster recovery from surgery, with a much quicker return to a high quality of life. This would mean that patients could begin any necessary chemotherapy or radiation treatments sooner, and be healthier when they undergo these treatments. The overall goal would be a lower mortality and higher quality of life for patients facing a malignant diagnosis.
How can I find out more details?
Please contact the Marchand OBGYN PR department at the below address. Patient privacy limits details that can be disclosed but all information is available for fact-checking purposes. Dr. Marchand generally prefers not to discuss details of his personal medical history publicly, but is agreeable to legitimate fact-checking.
Tess Dumlao – Marchand OBGYN Public Relations
20118 N. 67th Ave., #300, Box #150
Glendale, AZ 85308