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Pregnancy After Cervical Cancer Surgery

New Technique Preserves Womb, Allows Delivery by C-Section

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Del Priore says he learned the vaginal procedure and began offering it to women who wanted to preserve fertility. "But even though the vaginal surgery is a good operation in skilled hands, it is a difficult procedure to learn," he says. At that point he realized that he could perform trachelectomy by modifying a familiar operation -- in this case, hysterectomy. "This procedure is very easy for any gynecologic surgeon. I literally have people call me and I can walk them through it on the phone," he says.

Joan Walker, MD, the Brian and Sandra O'Brien Presidential Professor and chief of gynecologic oncology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, tells WebMD that young gynecologists are actually quite adept at performing the procedure using the vaginal technique, although older surgeons might have difficulty learning to do it. But she thinks the new procedure may be especially useful for women who have larger tumors since "we can only do the vaginal surgery with small lesions."

Walker agrees that attitudes about trachelectomy have changed considerably. "Now we think of Dargent as a hero," she says.

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