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Kenneth Cordier – Double-Balloon Endoscopy Success Story

Cancer stops here

Advanced procedure makes it easier for surgeons to remove tumors

Kenneth Cordier

Kenneth Cordier knows what it means to fight for his life. When he was a fighter pilot in Vietnam, his plane was shot down and he spent years as a prisoner of war. Today, medals and memorabilia throughout his home serve as a reminder of the sacrifices he’s made for his country and the life he almost lost.

Last winter, advanced technology spared Cordier another battle for his life: the battle against cancer.

A pain in his low back turned out to be much more than he’d imagined.

“Dr. Schwartz reviewed my X-rays and told me he thought there might be a tumor on my small intestine,” Cordier recalls.

Armond Schwartz, MD, independently practicing gastroenterologist on the medical staff at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, says a more thorough examination was needed to find the cause.

“The only way to perform further evaluation without surgery was through double-balloon endoscopy,” Dr. Schwartz says. “The endoscopy allows you to locate the tumor and perform a biopsy in the same procedure.”

A tag-team effort

Cordier was referred to Randal Macurak, MD, independently practicing gastroenterologist on the medical staff at Methodist Charlton Medical Center, one of the few facilities in southern Dallas County that offers the double-balloon endoscopy procedure. The procedure allows gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons to see almost all of the small intestine, which has long been a challenge for physicians because of its complex anatomy.

“Endoscopy made it easy to find the tumor and mark it for removal during a later surgery,” Dr. Macurak says.

The marks guided Dhiresh Jeyarajah, MD, independently practicing general surgeon on the medical staff at Methodist Dallas, as he performed the procedure to remove Cordier’s tumor and any nearby tissue that might also be cancerous.

Clean bill of health

Just six weeks after surgery, Cordier was feeling great and flying again — this time across the Atlantic for a European vacation and a river cruise from Budapest to the Black Sea.

Now that he’s back on U.S. soil, you can find him in the kitchen doing one of the things he enjoys most — cooking up a delicious meal.

And as for his cancer-free future, Cordier will gladly salute that.

From the winter 2012 edition of Shine magazine.