Many women are aware of cervical cancer because of the prevalence of a popular screening tool—the PAP (Papanicolaou) smear. This tool for early detection has allowed us to determine the presence of pre-cancer and/or early stages of cancer, which increases treatment’s efficacy.
Women with pre-cancer of the cervix may undergo ablation. This procedure destroys the tissue with extremely cold temperatures or with the use of a high-energy laser. Another option for pre-cancer treatment is excisional surgery. This procedure is performed to remove the tissue before it develops into cancer.
For women who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer, our team will work closely with you to determine the best treatment options for the specifics of your condition, your age, your lifestyle and your desire to conceive.
Surgeries we provide for cervical cancer include:
- Simple hysterectomy: The uterus and cervix are surgically removed. Many times, the ovaries are left in place and the vagina and pelvic lymph nodes are not removed.
- Radical hysterectomy and modified radical hysterectomy: The uterus, the tissue next to the uterus, the cervix and the upper part of the vagina are removed. In a modified radical hysterectomy, less of the vagina and tissue next to the uterus are removed.
- Trachelectomy: This procedure is performed to preserve a woman’s ability to bear children. In this procedure, the cervix and upper part of the vagina are removed, but the uterus remains. A stitch is placed inside the uterus to keep the opening close, in the manner that the cervix would. Women who become pregnant after a trachelectomy may be able to carry a healthy baby to term and deliver by Cesarean section.
- Pelvic exenteration: For cases of recurrent cervical cancer, this procedure may be performed. The uterus, the tissue next to the uterus, the cervix and the upper part of the vagina are removed surgically. In addition, the bladder, vagina, rectum and part of the colon are also removed.
Robotic Treatment Options
Whenever possible, our team is skilled in using minimally invasive techniques and technology to minimize the impact of the surgery on your body. This includes the use of the surgical robot. We perform these procedures at the Surgical Robotics Institute at Swedish Medical Center, a specialized unit of the hospital dedicated to caring for patients undergoing robotic procedures.
Robotic surgery provides surgeons with enhanced vision, more dexterity and reduces the impact of surgery on the body. Performed through tiny incisions, these procedures often result in less blood loss and transfusions, less pain, less risk of infection, shorter hospital stays, faster recoveries and a quicker return to normal activity.