"There is really no easy way to say this: We have to operate." While that hard truth is something a doctor says to a patient, it can also be applied to any person who is engaging in premeditated and deliberate sin. The only way to cut out the cancer of sin is through surgery. And only God can perform this task in a person's soul.
The "surgeon's knife" of the Great Physician is Scripture. "For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12) Sinful strongholds get "cut out" of us as the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and works the miracle of "godly sorrow" in our heart.