Gynecologic Cancer Surgery Overview
Gynecologic cancers originate in a woman’s reproductive organs. The most common types are cervical, endometrial (uterine) and ovarian cancers. Gynecologic cancers treatments vary and depend upon the kind of cancer and how far it has spread. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Cancer type, size and location will determine the scope of surgery. Typically, surgery involves removing the cancerous tissue and may also involve removing the particular reproductive organ affected by the cancer.
When appropriate, our cancers specialists utilize minimally invasive surgery with advanced technologies such as the daVinci robotic system and laparoscopy for greater precision and quicker patient recovery times. The Gynecologic Oncology team at the University of Colorado is one of only a select number of programs in the country offering these surgeries.
Common types of gynecologic surgery
Depending upon the type of cancer and how far it has spread, your gynecologic oncologist may perform one or the following surgical procedures to treat or remove cancer:
The University of Colorado Gynecologic Oncology team offers minimally invasive surgical procedures that would otherwise require large incisions and long recovery times. Minimally invasive surgery is often used to treat gynecologic conditions like cervical cancer, ovarian cysts and tumors, endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cancer, among others. A gynecologic oncologist will discuss available treatment options with the patient and determine the best plan for her individual needs.
A laparoscopy is a type of minimally invasive surgical procedure that is used to view internal organs and repair or remove tissues. It is an alternative to open surgery, which involves a large incision to give the surgeon access to the internal organs. Gynecologic oncology laparoscopies may be performed for women who may have endometriosis, need a biopsy or have undetermined infertility issues.
A hysterectomy is a surgery to remove a woman’s uterus (or womb). Only about 10% of hysterectomies are performed to treat cancers of the cervix, ovaries, uterus or endometrium.
Conization (cone biopsy) and LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) are treatments that identify and remove abnormal tissue from the cervix in cases of cervical dysplasia.
Ovarian cancer debulking is surgical treatment to locate, remove & reduce cancerous tumor size, increasing survival rates & improving treatment effectiveness.
Surgical removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes is generally performed when ovarian cancer or fallopian tube cancer is present.
CU Gynecology Oncology are specially trained in minimally invasive surgical methods using robotics to perform surgery such as a hysterectomy and cancer removal.
Trachelectomy is a surgery to treat cervical cancer while aiming to preserve fertility in a patient. It involves the surgical removal of a woman's uterine cervix and part of her vagina (but keeps the uterus intact).