Uterine (Endometrial) Cancer Surgery
Advanced and minimally invasive surgery options uterine cancer.
The most important step in treating uterine (endometrial) cancer is often surgery to remove a cancerous tumor and tissue. Our surgeons are experts who have extensive experience and specialize in treating uterine cancer.
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Types of uterine (endometrial) cancer surgery
At the Henry Ford Cancer Institute, our surgeons are leaders in innovative techniques for treating uterine (endometrial) cancer. They concentrate on using techniques that will have the least impact on your body – specifically, minimally invasive surgery. Small incisions, instead of large ones, will be made whenever possible. You will benefit from a faster recovery time, less discomfort, and a shorter stay in the hospital.
Our tumor board will carefully evaluate your condition and determine the best approach. These are some options:
- Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy is done by making small incisions in the abdominal area. Inside the vagina, incisions will be made to detach part of the cervix and uterus. They will be removed through the vaginal opening.
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy involves creating small incisions in the navel or abdomen. The surgeon places a tiny video camera and surgical tools through a small incision to remove the cervix and uterus. The surgeon uses a device to control the tools as he watches a monitor with 3D images.
- Robotic hysterectomy is one of the most effective and least invasive types of hysterectomy. This type of surgery allows the surgeon an excellent view of the delicate area and ways to work around it. A small “keyhole” incision is made in the naval or abdomen and a camera and surgical tools are inserted. The surgeon uses a device to control the tools as he watches a monitor with 3D images. The instruments can move in a circular manner to remove the uterus and cervix without additional incisions.
- Vaginal hysterectomy involves removing the uterus and cervix through an incision in the vagina. No abdominal incision is made. The surgeon will use long instruments inserted into the vagina to separate the uterus from the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and vagina. The surgeon may also perform robotic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy.
- Abdominal hysterectomy requires making a long incision in the abdomen to remove the uterus and cervix. Typically, most women will be able to return to work and daily activities after six weeks.
- Modified radical hysterectomy involves removing the uterus, cervix, upper part of the vagina, and the ligaments and tissues near these organs. Lymph nodes nearby may be also removed. For this surgery, a vertical incision or a less noticeable, low “bikini” incision will be made.
- Radical hysterectomy is done when uterine cancer has spread to the cervix or areas around it. The surgeon will remove the entire cervix, uterus, tissue near the uterus, and the upper part of the vagina. Lymph nodes may be removed. In addition, both ovaries and both fallopian tubes will be removed. A vertical incision or a less noticeable, low “bikini” incision will be made. Sometimes this surgery can be done through the vagina.
- Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is a procedure that may be done at the same time as the hysterectomy, or it may be done separately. It involves removing both ovaries and both fallopian tubes. If you have not already gone into menopause, removing both ovaries will start the menopause process.
- Pelvic and para-aortic lymph node dissection is a procedure to remove the lymph nodes from the pelvis and area near the aorta. It is usually done when the hysterectomy is performed.
We use special technologies to vaporize the cancerous tumor and remove any tumor cells that we find during surgery. If uterine cancer has spread, your surgeon may remove the lymph nodes in the spleen, the bowel diaphragm, and binding tissues in the abdomen. Our surgeons are experts in minimally invasive sentinel lymph node biopsy, a procedure that detects microscopic cancer cells that may have spread to the lymph nodes.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy identifies the lymph nodes most likely to be affected, making it possible to remove fewer lymph nodes, improving recovery time and reducing the risk for lymphedema.