A partial hysterectomy is a type of surgery designed to remove a woman’s uterus, leaving her cervix intact. This procedure may be recommended to treat ovarian, uterine or cervical cancer, as well as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse pelvic pain or abnormal vaginal bleeding. A patient for whom a partial hysterectomy is appropriate might opt for the removal of her cervix as well (a total hysterectomy) as a preventive measure for added peace of mind. However, she should be aware that there are benefits to retaining her cervix, such as a sounder inner pelvic structure and enhanced sexual enjoyment. To help ensure that a woman makes the best and most informed decisions regarding her options, she should consult with an experienced gynecologic oncologist and also seek one or more additional opinions before deciding on a course of treatment.
There are several different surgical techniques that a surgeon can use to perform a partial hysterectomy. Depending on the stage of the cancer, the size of the patient’s uterus, the patient’s overall health and other individual factors, a surgeon might recommend a:
- Vaginal approach – In cases involving early stage cancers, it is sometimes possible for a surgeon to remove an unenlarged uterus through an incision made in the vagina. This technique generally results in a faster recovery than an open approach and leaves no visible scarring.
- Abdominal approach – To remove a large tumor or enlarged uterus, a surgeon may perform an open hysterectomy. This typically involves a vertical or horizontal (bikini line) incision that spans 5 to 7 inches across the abdomen, though which a surgeon removes the uterus.
- Laparoscopic approach – A partial hysterectomy can also be completed laparoscopically, with or without robotic assistance. When using this minimally invasive technique, a surgeon creates one or more small incisions in the belly button and/or abdominal area, then inserts a tiny light, camera and specialized instruments. The surgeon is then able to view the uterus on an external video screen to facilitate its removal.
It’s understandable that a patient who is facing a partial hysterectomy would want to work with a surgeon who has completed a large number of surgeries to treat her specific condition. Moffitt Cancer Center is a high-volume cancer center that offers a level of surgical expertise that far exceeds that of other providers. Our fellowship-trained surgeons consistently achieve successful outcomes and improved quality of life for cancer patients, and we have earned a 95 percent patient satisfaction rate.
To learn more about partial hysterectomy and other treatment options for cervical, uterine or ovarian cancer, call 1-888-663-3488 or request to schedule an appointment online. We do not require referrals.