Washington University surgeons provide comprehensive care to patients with diseases of the peritoneum, including peritoneal cancer.

Our surgeons are part of a multidisciplinary team of experts at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Siteman Cancer Center.

We work with a multidisciplinary team of physicians to provide personalized, team-based care for people with peritoneal surface diseases.

The peritoneum is the tissue that lines the abdominal wall and covers most of the organs in the abdomen. A liquid called peritoneal fluid lubricates the surface of this tissue. The peritoneum protects the abdominal organs and allows them to move smoothly within the abdomen.

Certain types of disorders, sometimes called peritoneal malignancy, can happen when there is something wrong with the peritoneum.

Types of Peritoneal Disease

Peritoneal disorders are not common, but they can be serious. There are different types of peritoneal disease, including:

  • Peritoneal cancer: When cells in the peritoneum transform into cancer cells, or when cancer from another part of the body spreads to the peritoneum.
    • Primary peritoneal cancer starts in the cells of the peritoneum.
    • Peritoneal carcinomatosis happens when cancer starts somewhere else in the body, like the intestines or pancreas, and spreads to the peritoneum.

Treatment for peritoneal diseases typically involves surgery. Our team of Washington University surgeons specialize in treating peritoneal surface diseases—including peritoneal cancer—through a team-based approach.

What to Expect

When you come to one of our clinical locations, you will see a specialist who will evaluate your condition and order any tests we might need to make a diagnosis. We will make a treatment plan based on your condition. Our team of experts will answer all of your questions and make sure you understand your treatment plan.

Treatment Team

The Peritoneal Disease Surgery team provides multidisciplinary care to offer the best care options and outcomes.

Why Washington University Surgery?

Our surgeons operate at Barnes-Jewish Hospital—one of the best hospitals in the country and the best hospital in Missouri, according to U.S. News & World Report—as well as BJC locations across the St. Louis area, and Siteman Cancer Center.

Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis earned the highest possible rating—exceptional—from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Siteman is the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Missouri and in southern Illinois. The cancer center is known for its leadership, cutting-edge research and focus on turning scientific discoveries into innovative cancer treatments.

At Washington University, you have access to all of the specialists you need for the best treatment.