What is radical hysterectomy?
Endometrial cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the lining of the uterus. Removal of uterus as a result of cancer is medically referred as hysterectomy. When the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and cervix are removed, it is known as total hysterectomy. When only the uterus and two third portion of the vagina are removed in a surgical procedure, that procedure is known as radical hysterectomy.
Patients in the early stages of cervical cancer are the suitable candidates for radical hysterectomy. This process can be done as an open procedure in which the surgeon cuts the uterus directly with his hands through a large incision of about 6 to 8 inches diameter and the resected parts are removed out of the body. But in another procedure known as laparoscopic surgery or keyhole surgery, the procedure is carried out through small incisions of the size 1 to 2 cms and the surgeon is not directly using his hands in the surgery.
Laparoscope is inserted to the body through a small incision near the umbilicus and is guided carefully till it reaches the target area. Other special instruments for carrying out the surgery are inserted through other small incisions near the above incision. By pumping carbon dioxide to the abdomen it is inflated in a bid to make more room so that the surgeon can get a better view of the abdomen and do the surgical procedure more easily. By viewing the surgery and the organs through a video monitor and controlling the special instruments remotely the surgeon carries out the surgery. The uterus is cut and about two third portion of the vagina is also cut and they are removed out through one of the bigger incisions in the body. Even though a portion of the vagina is removed, women do not feel any difficult in sexual intercourse as the vaginal lining and the clitoral area are not affected by this surgery.
Peculiarities of laparoscopic procedures
- As the incisions are smaller the associated pain in this surgery will be less and healing of the wounds will be faster.
- Faster recovery and earlier return to normal activities are another important advantage of this procedure
- This procedure is not suitable for patients who are obese and diabetic.
- This procedure is not usually recommended for patients who have earlier undergone a surgical procedure in the target area.