What Is Peritoneum?
This is a basic representation of peritoneum. We find it rather difficult to explain what peritoneum is to patients. This video simplifies it. Peritoneum is a thin membrane that covers almost all the organs of the abdomen. When the cancer inside one of the organs in the abdomen grows beyond its confines, it starts spreading to the peritoneum. And at this stage therapies directed towards peritoneal spread like cytoreductive surgeries, HIPEC, PIPAC, IP port chemotherapy come into picture.
Post Operative Care
This video shows how a normal small intestine and its mesentery appear. Both are draped by visceral peritoneum. You can notice that both, the small intestine and its mesentery, appear glistening because of the normal visceral peritoneum covering them. One can also notice small blood vessels coursing the mesentery to reach the intestine. When the cancer reaches the peritoneal cavity it can potentially spread to the small bowel and its mesentery. Since most of these cancer deposits are small, they are usually missed on CT/PET scans. Presence of disease at these crucial sites makes cytoreductive surgery challenging and sometimes impossible.