Surgery

What surgical treatments are available?

Depending on the stage of the cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. and your particular circumstances, your cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. specialist may recommend you have one of the following operations:

Cone biopsy

This is an operation in which a cone-shaped piece of tissue is removed from your cervixAny neck-like structure; most commonly refers to the neck of the uterus. under general anaestheticAny agent that reduces or abolishes sensation, affecting the whole body.. The operation is done via your vagina, so it will not leave an external scar.

Knife cone biopsyThe removal of a cone-shaped section of tissue from the cervix of the uterus, which is then sent to a laboratory for examination; this may be curative as well as diagnostic. does not affect your ability to become pregnant. It may, however, weaken your cervixAny neck-like structure; most commonly refers to the neck of the uterus. and this may make it more likely that you have a miscarriageThe spontaneous loss of pregnancy. or premature labour.

Learn about cone biopsyThe removal of a cone-shaped section of tissue from the cervix of the uterus, which is then sent to a laboratory for examination; this may be curative as well as diagnostic. as a test-and-treat procedure for cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body..

LLETZ

The full name for this procedure is large loop excision of the transformation zoneA type of surgery used to cut out abnormal tissue of the cervix of the uterus. It uses a loop of heated wire that acts like a scalpel.. As with knife cone biopsyThe removal of a cone-shaped section of tissue from the cervix of the uterus, which is then sent to a laboratory for examination; this may be curative as well as diagnostic., it may be performed at the same time as tests to diagnose cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body.. LLETZAn abbreviation for large loop excision of the transformation zone, a type of surgery used to cut out abnormal tissue of the cervix of the uterus. It uses a loop of heated wire that acts like a scalpel. is a much simpler procedure however. It can be performed under local anaestheticA medication that reduces sensation in a part of the body., sometimes following colposcopyClose examination of the cervix of the uterus using a magnifying instrument with attached light source, known as a colposcope., and usually takes just five to ten minutes.

The transformation zone is the area of the cervixAny neck-like structure; most commonly refers to the neck of the uterus. where CINAn abbreviation for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, abnormal changes in the cervix of the uterus that may resolve spontaneously, or may progress to cervical cancer. can arise. In LLETZAn abbreviation for large loop excision of the transformation zone, a type of surgery used to cut out abnormal tissue of the cervix of the uterus. It uses a loop of heated wire that acts like a scalpel., a heated wire loop is used to remove the part of the cervixAny neck-like structure; most commonly refers to the neck of the uterus. where abnormal cells arise, known as the transformation zone. The heat also seals the wound.

You may experience mild pain and light bleeding or discharge for several weeks after an LLETZAn abbreviation for large loop excision of the transformation zone, a type of surgery used to cut out abnormal tissue of the cervix of the uterus. It uses a loop of heated wire that acts like a scalpel. procedure, and will be advised not to have sexual intercourse or wear a tampon for four weeks, to lower any risk of infectionInvasion by organisms that may be harmful, for example bacteria or parasites.. You should seek prompt medical advice if you experience bleeding that is heavier than your normal menstrual period, get severe abdominal cramps or have a high temperature after an LLETZAn abbreviation for large loop excision of the transformation zone, a type of surgery used to cut out abnormal tissue of the cervix of the uterus. It uses a loop of heated wire that acts like a scalpel..

If you become pregnant after having a LLETZAn abbreviation for large loop excision of the transformation zone, a type of surgery used to cut out abnormal tissue of the cervix of the uterus. It uses a loop of heated wire that acts like a scalpel., there is a slightly increased risk of premature birth.

Simple hysterectomy

In this operation the surgeon removes your uterus and cervixAny neck-like structure; most commonly refers to the neck of the uterus.. The operation is also known as a total hysterectomyThe surgical removal of the uterus (womb)..

In the past this operation was always done through a cut just above the line of your pubic hair. Now it is becoming more common for it to be performed via the vagina.

This is often done in combination with keyhole surgeryA type of minimally invasive surgery. - also known as laparoscopic surgery. This is where operations are performed through small cuts in your abdomenThe part of the body that contains the stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder and other organs.. The cuts are usually less than 1.5cm long. During surgery an instrument called a laparoscopeAn instrument with attached light source, usually connected to a camera, which allows the examination of the organs during keyhole surgery. is used to see the organs inside your abdomenThe part of the body that contains the stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder and other organs..

If you have gone through the menopauseThe time of a woman’s life when her ovaries stop releasing an egg (ovum) on a monthly cycle., your specialist may suggest that your ovaries are also taken out during the simple hysterectomyThe surgical removal of the uterus (womb).. This is to remove any chance of later development of ovarian cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body., although having cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. does not increase your risk of ovarian cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body..

See the quick guide on hysterectomy.

Radical hysterectomy

This operation is also known as a Wertheim hysterectomyThe surgical removal of the uterus (womb)., after the surgeon who first described the operation. Your surgeon removes:

  • Your uterus and cervixAny neck-like structure; most commonly refers to the neck of the uterus.
  • The lymph nodesSmall swellings along the lymphatic system that filter lymph, a fluid derived from the blood, and produce antibodies and a type of white blood cells, lymphocytes. around your uterus
  • The top of your vagina
  • The ligament that holds your uterus in place (called the parametrium)
  • Fatty tissues around the uterus.

The operation is usually performed through a cut just above the line of your pubic hair. In some cases your surgeon will also take out your ovaries if they look abnormal.

If you have gone through the menopauseThe time of a woman’s life when her ovaries stop releasing an egg (ovum) on a monthly cycle., your surgeon may also have suggested before the operation that you have your ovaries removed anyway. This is to remove any chance of later developing ovarian cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body., although having cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. does not increase your risk of ovarian cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body..

I will always remember my gynaecologist telling me afterwards: 'You'll be fine. But there will never be a time you will be able to forget this.' He was right. Physically I was pretty fit and healthy after six months, but...I was also going through huge psychological changes. Coral

Radical trachelectomy and pelvic lymphectomy

This is a newly developed treatment for cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body.. This operation may be offered to you if you have early-stage cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. and want the chance to have children.

The operation seems to have the same rate of success in curing early-stage cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. as a radical hysterectomyThe surgical removal of the uterus (womb). but allows you to keep your uterus. Women who have the operation have about a 50 per cent chance of becoming pregnant afterwards.

In this operation your surgeon removes:

  • Most of your cervixAny neck-like structure; most commonly refers to the neck of the uterus.
  • The upper part of your vagina
  • Tissues from around your cervixAny neck-like structure; most commonly refers to the neck of the uterus.
  • Your pelvicRelating to the pelvis. lymph glands.

Most of the operation is done via your vagina. The lymph nodesSmall swellings along the lymphatic system that filter lymph, a fluid derived from the blood, and produce antibodies and a type of white blood cells, lymphocytes. are usually removed by keyhole surgeryA type of minimally invasive surgery. in three or four places in your abdomenThe part of the body that contains the stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder and other organs..

During the operation a permanent stitch is put around the opening to the cervixAny neck-like structure; most commonly refers to the neck of the uterus.. This holds the opening to your uterus partly closed. The stitching is strong enough to hold a pregnancy.

You can usually try to get pregnant from six months after the operation. Babies of women who have had this operation are usually delivered by caesarean section at 38 weeks.

See the quick guide on hysterectomy.

Exteneration surgery

If your cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. returns, your specialist may advise extenerationThe surgical removal of the organs from a body cavity. surgery. This involves removing other organs within your pelvis. This may include removing your bladderThe organ that stores urine. and bowel.

I was told I was a good candidate for having extremely radical and rare surgery called pelvicRelating to the pelvis. extenerationThe surgical removal of the organs from a body cavity. surgery. The alternative was 12 months to live. I was just so grateful for a chance to live and see my kids grow up. Elaine