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What are the different types of surgery for vaginal cancer?

Surgical procedures for vaginal cancer include:
  • Laser surgery: A focused beam of energy is used like a scalpel to remove cancerous tissue. It's used for early cancers on the surface lining of the vagina.
  • Excision: Wide local excision uses a scalpel to remove the cancer and a "margin" of healthy tissue around it. Skin grafting or reconstructive surgery may then be performed.
  • Vaginectomy: Part or all of the vagina is surgically removed. Then skin grafting or reconstructive surgery may be performed.
  • Vaginal hysterectomy: A vaginal hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) requires a small incision at the top of your vagina to remove the uterus and sometimes other reproductive organs.
  • Radical hysterectomy: A radical hysterectomy removes your uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and tissue around the uterus such as lymph nodes.
  • Lymphadenectomy: Lymph nodes in the groin or pelvis are removed and examined to see if the cancer has spread.
  • Pelvic exenteration: Very rarely, more extensive surgery may be necessary. This may include removing some or all of your reproductive organs as well as other organs such as the rectum, bladder, or part of the colon. Additional surgery may be performed to provide substitutes for organs that may have been removed.
  • Robotic surgery: This minimally invasive procedure is similar to a laparoscopy but uses the precision of robotics coupled with magnified views and the surgeon's skills to perform a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.