No one wants to have a hysterectomy. But a hysterectomy can be a vital part of cancer treatment. And our surgeons have the experience you'll need when facing a gynecologic cancer like endometrial (uterine) or cervical. They're experts in all types of hysterectomy for cancer.
What's a Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy removes a woman's uterus and cervix. Often, the procedure takes out your fallopian tubes and ovaries, too. We might take out pelvic lymph nodes to see if or where the cancer has spread.
Sometimes, surgical removal of an organ can completely cure cancer. Other times, we need to do surgery in combination with other therapies.
Of course, without a uterus and cervix, you can't get pregnant. Make sure to talk with your care team about your fertility. You'll also want to talk about hormones and sexual health.
Why Go to UVA for a Hysterectomy for Cancer?
At UVA Health, you'll receive cancer care from a gynecologic oncologist. These cancer doctors are highly trained in performing a hysterectomy for cancer. They perform hundreds of surgeries each year so they have the expertise you need.
Types of Hysterectomy
At UVA, we offer several surgical techniques. We aim to create as little pain and recovery issues as possible.
During open surgery, we cut through your abdomen. This traditional approach allows for direct removal of the organs. Open surgery has advantages, but it also increases your risk of infection, recovery time, and pain.
This type of surgery avoids a big cut. We insert tubes through tiny incisions. We put lights, a camera, and surgical tools through the tube. The camera sends images to a special monitor. This guides our use of the tools. People usually recover and heal faster with this approach vs. open surgery.
With this method, we use robotic arms inside your body. Controlled by a highly skilled surgeon, the robotic arms can detach and remove your organs with precision. And we don't have to make a large incision.
We can remove your uterus and cervix through your vagina.
Often, we don't have to cut into you at all. We just pull the uterus and cervix out.
Sometimes we'll need to use a laparoscope to guide the process. We'll insert the small scope through a small cut next to your navel.
In general, we can perform vaginal procedures if you have beginning cancer. If you're in a later stage of cancer, we may only have the option of open surgery.
Recover Better After Surgery
At UVA Health, we use Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) to guide care before, during, and after surgery. Following ERAS standards, we manage your fluid and energy for the best outcomes. A personalized pain management plan limits your opioid use. And we get you moving and eating sooner than usual.
With ERAS, you'll:
- Heal faster
- Return home sooner
- Experience fewer problems
Learn more about ERAS.