Surgery for cervical cancer
We may perform a variety of procedures, depending on the type and stage of cervical cancer, as well as your individual fertility concerns.
- Hysterectomy: During this type of cervical cancer surgery, the uterus and cervix are removed.
- Radical hysterectomy: For all but a very small percentage of women with early cervical cancer, a radical hysterectomy will be necessary. This involves removing the uterus and cervix, as well as all of the surrounding tissue (the parametria) and the upper part of the vagina. During this cervical cancer surgery, the lymph nodes in the pelvis are also removed. For young women, the ovaries are left behind to preserve ovarian function. For older women, they are removed.
- Pelvic extenteration: For women with recurrent or advanced cervical cancer, pelvic extenteration may be an option. During this surgery for cervical cancer, the uterus, cervix, vagina, ovaries, bladder, rectum and nearby lymph nodes are removed. Tissue from elsewhere in the body is used to reconstruct the vagina, and urine and stool are passed into external bags.
Addressing fertility concerns
If you want to preserve your fertility, your surgical oncologist may be able to remove only the affected tissue. Patients battling more complex disease may not be candidates for this option. We will discuss a variety of fertility-sparing procedures with you before beginning your personalized treatment plan.