What are the different types of surgery for vaginal cancer?

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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).

Continue Learning about Vaginal Cancer

Vaginal Cancer

Although less common than other types of gynecologic cancers, vaginal cancer can be very deadly once it spreads to other parts of the body.Several types of vaginal cancer exist, with the most common being squamous cell carcinoma, ...

which typically develops in the upper region of the vagina. Less than 3% of gynecologic cancers begin in the vagina, although several other cancer types commonly spread to this area. It is unknown what causes vaginal cancer, but several factors increase your risk to develop the disease. If youre over the age of 60, have the human papillomavirus (HPV) or have had other gynecologic cancers like cervical cancer, youre more likely to develop this disease. See your doctor if you have a bloody and rank smelling vaginal discharge, notice painful urination or pelvic pain, or feel a lump in your vagina.
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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.