For some women with a very early cancer of the cervix, it may be possible to have a trachelectomy. In this type of surgery the cervix and the upper part of the vagina are removed, but the rest of the uterus (womb) is left in place. The lymph glands in the pelvis are also removed. The operation may be done as an open operation of through a combination of keyhole and vaginal surgery.
As the uterus is not removed, a trachelectomy allows for the possibility that the woman could have children. During the operation or during pregnancy, a stitch is made at the bottom of the uterus to keep it closed. There is a significantly higher chance of miscarriage or premature delivery after this procedure and the baby will be delivered early by Caesarean section .
Trachelectomy is only suitable for women with early stage cancer of the cervix.
This type of surgery is not common and is only done in Specialist Gynaecological Cancer Centres. You may need to ask your gynaecologist to refer you to a specialist hospital if you would like to discuss the possibility of having a trachelectomy. its important that your doctor explains the benefits and risk of this procdure.
- Shepherd H et al., 2006. Radical vaginal trachelectomy as a fertility-sparing procedure in women with early-stage cervical cancer-cumulative pregnancy rate in a series of 123 women. BJOG 113 (6), 719-24.
"Trachelectomy." Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. N.p., 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.