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Cervical Cancer Health Center

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Cervical Cancer - Surgery

Surgery to remove the cancer depends on the location and extent of cervical cancer and your desire to be able to have children. You also may be given radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of the two (chemoradiation). These treatments may be given before or after surgery to try to destroy any cancer cells that may remain or to help control or shrink the tumor.

Surgery choices

Surgery for very early stages of cervical cancer may preserve your ability to have children. Surgeries include:

Surgery for most stages of cervical cancer does not preserve your ability to have children. Surgeries include:

  • Hysterectomy . This is surgery to remove the uterus and cervix camera.gif. During this surgery, the ovaries and fallopian tubes may also be removed to reduce the chances of recurrence.
    • Radical hysterectomy. This is surgery to remove the uterus, cervix, part of the vagina, and tissues around these organs. The ovaries, fallopian tubes, and nearby lymph nodes may also be removed.
    • Modified radical hysterectomy. This is surgery to remove the the uterus, cervix, upper part of the vagina, and tissues around these organs. But less tissue and fewer organs are removed than in a radical hysterectomy.
  • Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (say "sal-PIN-go oh-uh-fuh-REK-tuh-mee"). This is surgery to remove both ovaries and both fallopian tubes.
  • Pelvic exenteration (say "ig-ZEN-tuh-ray-shun"). This is the most serious pelvic surgery. It is done when cancer has spread throughout the lower belly and pelvis. In this surgery, the uterus, cervix, vagina, ovaries, lower colon, rectum, and bladder are removed. Artificial openings are made so urine and stool can pass from the body into a collection bag. An artificial vagina can also be created during this surgery.

Dealing with side effects of surgery

Side effects from a conization or LEEP include mild cramping during the first few hours, soreness for several days, and vaginal discharge for about a week. These surgeries may be done in your doctor's office.

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