Endometrial cancer surgery is one of the most common procedures performed by gynecologic oncologists at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute. While the procedure is most often a less invasive option than open surgery, patients may still be anxious about what to expect. Endometrial cancer surgery involves a complete hysterectomy, which includes the removal of the uterus, cervix, both fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
“Sometimes, we also take lymph nodes for biopsy to see if the cancer has escaped beyond the uterus,” gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Kathleen Yang, says. “That will determine what we call staging of the cancer.”
In the video below, Dr. Kathleen Yang explains the planning process and what patients can expect before, during, and after surgery for removing a pelvic mass.
Prior to surgery, patients meet with their surgeon and other staff members to discuss preparations for the procedure. There will also be a pre-surgery visit at the anesthesia clinic to discuss how anesthesia will be performed.
“On the day of the surgery, the patient checks into the pre-surgery area in the hospital,” says Dr. Yang. “They will see their surgeon one more time, shortly before the procedure, so if there are any last-minute questions they’d like to ask, they can do that at that time.”
In most cases, endometrial cancer surgery is performed with robotic technology called the da Vinci XI Surgical System, by which a surgeon operates through a few small incisions.
The da Vinci System features a magnified 3-D high-definition camera and tiny wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human wrist, enabling surgeons to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity, and control.
“It’s important for patients to know that the procedure is done by their surgeon, not the robot,” says Dr. Yang. Watch the video to learn more about how robotic-assisted surgery for gynecologic cancers offers a less invasive treatment option for uterine and other gynecologic cancer patients.
Robotic surgery has been proven to reduce recovery time for patients. Often, they are able to go home the same day they have the procedure, instead of spending 3-5 days in the hospital, which is standard following traditional open surgery.
Patients also report less pain after robotic surgery and are able to recover in one to two weeks, instead of six to eight weeks.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a type of gynecologic cancer, make an appointment with one of our oncologists. WVCI has a team of experts, conveniently located in Albany, Corvallis, Eugene, Florence, Lincoln City, and Newport, ready to talk to you about uterine cancer and personalized treatment options. We know it’s important for you to get good information and choose an endometrial cancer treatment plan that’s best for you, so we are here for you every step of the way.