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Dr. Singh



Keyhole Incisions often the Key to Successful Cancer Surgery

Dr. Amar SinghIs minimally invasive surgery really as effective as open surgery in removing cancerous tumors? It’s the unspoken question that Chattanooga urologist Dr. Amar Singh knows to address with his cancer patients.

“That’s one of the biggest misconceptions I encounter,” says Dr. Singh. “The whole focus of minimally invasive surgery is to have the same outcome as with traditional surgery,” he tells his patients. “People shouldn’t think that because they’re getting minimally invasive surgery, it’s a less effective treatment,” stresses the local specialist.

In addition to achieving a good cancer operation, the advantages of laparoscopic or robotics-assisted surgery often outweigh traditional surgery for a host of other reasons. Keyhole-sized incisions mean less pain, discomfort and scarring, shorter hospital stays, a speedier recovery, and faster return to normal activities. Blood loss is also significantly less. “When you open someone (with traditional surgery) the transfusion rate can be as high as 20% - and people don’t need to lose blood,” says the urologist.

Another distinct benefit of minimally invasive surgery, particularly for kidney cancer, is the ability to save the organ. Urologists can laparoscopically remove many tumors and be able to leave the kidney behind, according to Dr. Singh. “The old way of thinking was that if you found a kidney mass, the kidney goes in the bucket; now we take the tumors away and spare the kidney – helping prevent future health problems, including the need for hemodialysis,” he said.

Urological cancers make up 50% of all cancers, such as prostate, kidney, bladder, ureter, testicular and adrenal – all of which can be successfully treated laparoscopically, according to the local urologist.

“Everyone is a candidate for minimally invasive surgery unless proven otherwise,” maintains Dr. Singh. “If we have to go to traditional surgery during a case, we can still do it,” he points out. Obesity isn’t even the roadblock it once was. “I did successful laparoscopic kidney surgery on a man who weighed 580 pounds,” reports Dr. Singh, adding that “it’s now being done on those who’ve had prior abdominal surgery.”

Men with prostate cancer are excellent candidates for laparoscopic surgery, says the local urologist. “I shoot for the trifecta,” Dr. Singh tells his patients. “We have three goals – good cancer control, continence and potency – and I can help achieve these goals with robotics-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy.”

The mere fact that prostate surgery has been recommended indicates a strong likelihood the cancer was caught early.

“If it can be detected early, I can give my patients the big “C” as in “Cure,” says Dr. Singh, noting there’s “not too many areas of cancer treatment” where one can do that. “Our patients are very grateful and that’s what makes what I do worthwhile.”

Dr. Singh, with Academic Urologists at Erlanger, specializes in minimally invasive renal surgeries, as well as robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy and cystoprostatectomy. His office is located at 979 E. Third St., Suite A-450, Chattanooga, Tenn. The office number is 778-5910.


Urologic Procedures

Amar Singh, M.D.
Christopher Keel, D.O.

Pediatric Procedures
Paul Zmaj, M.D.