Malignant Conditions

Hysterectomy for Endometrial Cancer

A hysterectomy to remove endometrial cancer usually includes the removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes (called a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy). During the procedure, the surgeon will also take a sample of the tissue (biopsy) located in the lymph nodes in the pelvis and near the abdomen to find out how much the cancer has advanced and to what areas it has spread (the stage and grade of the cancer). Most cases of endometrial cancer are diagnosed during the earliest stage, while cancer is still contained in the uterus and can be cured.

The type of surgery performed will depend on how much of a woman’s reproductive system may be affected by endometrial cancer.
A total hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus and cervix. A total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is the removal of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This is the most common surgery done for endometrial cancer.

A radical hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus, cervix, surrounding tissue, upper vagina, and usually the pelvic lymph nodes. The number of lymph nodes removed depends on how far the cancer has spread.

Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
Laparoscopic surgery is done with a tiny camera and special instruments. The surgeon introduces these tools through several small incisions (cuts) in the belly. In a laparoscopic hysterectomy, the uterus is detached and may be removed in pieces through the small incisions in the abdomen. Or it may be removed through the vagina. In this type of surgery, the surgeon usually is able to see the organs well enough to find out the extent of the cancer.

A laparoscopic hysterectomy leaves several very small scars on the abdomen. Hospital stay after a laparoscopic hysterectomy is usually one to two days. A laparoscopic hysterectomy has a quicker recovery and fewer complications than abdominal hysterectomy, in which a larger incision is made during surgery.

Robotic Hysterectomy
In a robotic hysterectomy, small incisions are made in the abdomen, where special instruments including a 3D camera are inserted. The technology allows the surgeon to use more precise hand movements and to see a 3D magnified view of the surgical area. Because the incisions are so small, robotic surgery reduces scarring and recovery time.

After the procedure most women stay in the hospital from one to two days for post-surgery care. Complete recovery takes three to four weeks.