Traditional open surgery for the treatment of uterine cancer involves the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) through an incision in the abdomen. The doctor also removes both fallopian tubes and both ovaries in a procedure called a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. To determine if cancer has spread, the lymph nodes near the tumor may be removed.
As the procedure progresses, your surgeon may find that the cancer has spread and more tissue removal is necessary. The process of removing cancerous tissue is called “debulking.” The more cancerous tissue is removed, the higher the survival rate.
If cancer cells have not spread beyond the endometrium, the woman may not need to have any other treatment. The length of the hospital stay for this type of surgery may vary from several days to a week.
Laparoscopic and Robot-Assisted Surgery
An increasing number of women with uterine cancer are candidates for minimally invasive surgery today because of the precision offered by robotic tools. RPCI 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 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 uterine cancer.