He focuses on oncologist surgery for the last 20 years of his professional life, especially on gastrointestinal system cancers. Since he focuses on Peritoneal Carcinomatosis (late-stage manifestation of several gastrointestinal malignancies including appendiceal, colorectal, and gastric cancer), he has wide experience with multiorgan resections and anastomosis of these, liver resections, bile duct cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma), Whipple surgery, colon/rectum, and stomach cancer surgeries.
He prefers the laparoscopic method for the above surgeries as long as it is conformable since minimally invasive surgery provides a faster transition towards the treatment following the surgery, faster recovery, and returning to normal life.
He mentions 2 topics for the success in surgical oncology:
- Experience of the surgeon in the field of surgical oncology
- The infrastructure and available resources that the hospital provides
Teamwork is an inseparable component of surgical oncology for Prof. Topgül and he mentions Medical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Radiologists, sometimes Interventional Radiologists as his close counterparts.
Prof. Koray Topgül underlines the experience of the physician pointing at issues other than technical surgery skills. For him, a good surgeon is not only a good technician to perform the procedure but also should be sufficiently experienced to deal with decisions, timing, management of possible complications, creating solutions, and communicating these to the patients.
“For me, the basics are ethics in surgery and surgical formation. I believe patients are not statistics but people”
He lists questions of patients regarding “success percentage of the surgery” or “life expectancy” among the leading topics but he advises his patients not to focus so much on them. “We know that stage 4 colon cancer 5 years life expectancy is around 15% but we may never know who will stay at 85% and who will enter to that 15%”. He recommends his patient concentrate on their actual treatment and their motivation during this treatment.