Surgery for uterine cancer
Surgery is the primary treatment for women with uterine cancer. This operation, called a hysterectomy, includes removing the uterus, often together with the ovaries and ovarian tubes. Sometimes the pelvic lymph nodes, or those along the aorta, the largest artery, will need to be removed as well. The surgery you need will depend on the stage of your tumor.
We distinguish between 4 stages:
- In stage 1, the tumor is confined to the uterine wall or muscle.
- In stage 2, the tumor visibly spread to the cervix but remains contained to the uterus.
- In stage 3, the tumor has spread outside of the uterus but remains contained to the pelvis.
- In stage 4, the tumor has spread to the bladder, rectum, or other organs in the abdomen.
These stages determine the type of surgery you will need. Most operations are performed through an incision in the abdomen, although other tumors can be removed through the orifice itself, in combination with abdominal keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. The total time of the procedure will depend on the tumor stage and the type of surgery you are having.