Pre-treatment surgical staging

Your doctor may recommend that you have an operation to remove several lymph nodes before your cancer surgery. This is done in order to biopsy the lymph nodes to determine the spread of your cancer and to help make a decision about the best treatment for you.

If your doctor has recommended surgery to treat your cervical cancer, you may have a complete hysterectomy, which is surgery to remove the uterus and cervix.

If your cancer has spread within the cervix, your doctor may recommend a radical hysterectomy, which involves removing the upper part of the vagina as well as the uterus, cervix, lymph nodes, and some tissues surrounding the uterus.  The lymph nodes are removed so that they can be examined to determine if the cancer has spread.

If biopsies and other tests determine that your cancer has spread beyond the cervix, then your doctors may recommend adding radiation with chemotherapy to control the disease following surgery. 

Surgery for SCCA patients is performed at UW Medical Center, by surgeons who provide care at both UW Medical Center and SCCA.

Robotically assisted minimally invasive hysterectomy

There are two surgical options to performing the hysterectomy. Traditional open surgery or by minimally invasive robotically assisted approach.  Dr. Ron Swensen leads the robotic surgery team of gynecologic oncology surgeons at SCCA trained to offer this innovative approach which has been shown to benefit patients by decreasing pain, recovery time, blood loss, infection, and time in the hospital.  Discussion about which approach may be right for you will take place at your pre-operative appointment with your SCCA gynecologic oncologist.