Cervical Cancer Surgery
Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy (BSO)
A BSO is a surgical procedure that is used to remove the ovaries and the fallopian tubes.
A radical hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that is used to remove the uterus, cervix, and part of the vagina. The ovaries, fallopian tubes, or nearby lymph nodes may also be removed.
A pelvic exenteration is a surgical procedure that is used to remove the lower colon, rectum, and bladder. For women, the cervix, vagina, ovaries, and nearby lymph nodes are also removed. Surgeons will need to make artificial openings (stomas) for the urine and the stool. Women may need plastic surgery to make an artificial vagina after they have had a pelvic exenteration.
Cryosurgery is a treatment that uses an instrument to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue, such as carcinoma in situ. This type of cervical cancer surgery is also called cryotherapy.
Laser surgery is a procedure that uses a laser beam (a narrow beam of intense light) as a knife to make bloodless cuts in tissue or to remove a surface lesion such as a tumor.
Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP)
LEEP is a treatment that uses electrical current (passed through a thin wire loop) as a knife to remove abnormal tissue or cancer.
Recovering From Cervical Cancer Surgery
It takes time to heal after surgery for cervical cancer, and the recovery time is different for each woman. If you had surgery to remove a small tumor on the surface of the cervix, you may experience cramping, pain, bleeding, or a watery discharge.
If you had a hysterectomy, the length of the hospital stay may vary from several days to a week. Common discomforts after a hysterectomy include:
- Feeling tired or weak
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bladder and bowel problems.
After cervical cancer surgery, your doctor may restrict your diet to liquids at first, with a gradual return to solid food. However, most women return to their normal activities within four to eight weeks after surgery.
After a hysterectomy, women will no longer have menstrual periods, and they will not be able to become pregnant. When the ovaries are removed, menopause will occur at once. Symptoms of menopause that are caused by cervical surgery may be more severe than those caused by natural menopause. Some drugs have been shown to help women with these symptoms, and may be more effective if they are started before surgery for cervical cancer.
After surgery, some women may be concerned about sexual intimacy. Many women find that it helps to share these concerns with their partner or a counselor.