Cervical Cancer Surgery

Dr. Odunsi discusses why Roswell Park’s multidisciplinary team can help cervical and vulvar cancer patients maintain quality of life after surgery.

Women with Stage I or II cervical cancer may opt for surgery that removes tissue that may contain cancer cells:

  • Radical trachelectomy: Removal of the cervix, part of the vagina, and the lymph nodes in the pelvis. This option is for a small number of women with small tumors who want to try to get pregnant later.
  • Total hysterectomy: Removal of the cervix and uterus.
  • Radical hysterectomy: Removal of the cervix, some tissue around the cervix, the uterus, and part of the vagina.

With either total or radical hysterectomy, the surgeon may also remove other tissues:

  • Fallopian tubes and ovaries: The surgeon may remove both fallopian tubes and ovaries. This surgery is called a salpingo-oophorectomy.
  • Lymph nodes: The surgeon may remove the lymph nodes near the tumor to see if they contain cancer. If cancer cells have reached the lymph nodes, it means the disease may have spread to other parts of the body.

Laparoscopic and Robot-Assisted Surgery

Robotic surgery has changed the game for complicated surgeries. Dr. Frederick explains how this minimally invasive approach drastically improves quality of life for gynecologic cancer patients.

Many women with early stage cervical cancer are candidates for minimally invasive surgery because of the precision offered by robotic tools. Roswell Park launched its robotics program in 2004, when the Institute became the first facility in the region to offer robot-assisted surgery. Since then, Roswell Park surgeons have performed more than 1,500 surgeries using robotics, and the Institute has become a worldwide leader in the field of robotic surgical training.

By combining the skill and judgment of our surgeons with the enhanced flexibility and precision of the robotic tools, we are able to perform a total hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and remove necessary lymph nodes without the large incision required in traditional open surgery. The advantages of this approach include: reduced risk of infection, less blood loss, less pain, faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays.

Learn more about robotic surgery in the treatment of cervical cancer.