Preparing For Gynecologic Surgery and Recovery

As you prepare for surgery, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information you’ve received, and it’s easy to forget what you’ve been told. Our gynecologic oncology staff created these videos. Watch them to review instructions for your procedure and recovery.

Gynecologic Surgery: What to Expect


Overview of Diagnosing and Removing a Pelvic Mass

Approximately 20 percent of women will develop a pelvic mass at some point in their lives. When a woman is referred to Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, a gynecologic oncologist works to determine whether the mass is benign or malignant. Determining whether a pelvic mass is cancerous or benign requires surgery. Treatment depends on the size of the mass and its appearance on imaging studies, such as an ultrasound or a CT scan. Depending on the size, the patient's pelvic mass can either be removed laparoscopically or laparotomy. 

Understandably, this can be an anxious time for patients and having the right information is important. “When a patient has a consultation, we discuss different scenarios,” say gynecologic oncologist Dr. Kathleen Yang. “What if the mass is benign? And what if the mass is cancerous? We also describe the procedure the patient will undergo and the steps we will take.” Dr. Kathleen Yang explains the planning process and what patients can expect before, during and after surgery.

Overview of Endometrial Cancer Surgery

Gynecologic oncologist Dr. Kathleen Yang explains how you prepare for endometrial cancer surgery: what to expect before, during and after the procedure, and how robotic surgery can lead to a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery.

Preparing for Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery is a less invasive procedure than open surgery and patients are generally able to go home the same day. Here’s what you need to know to prepare for your procedure and what to keep in mind during recovery.

Laparotomy Surgery: Preparing for Open Surgery

When a mass is too large to remove laparoscopically, it is often removed through a vertical incision in the wall of the abdomen, a procedure called a laparotomy.  Open surgery requires a larger incision and more time for recovery. Follow these steps leading up to your procedure, and consider these recommendations for the first few weeks of recovery.

Lovenox Injections

Lovenox is an anticoagulant that reduces the chance of a blood clot forming in the leg veins (deep vein thrombosis) or in the lungs (pulmonary embolism). Learn how to self inject the medication at home with pre-filled syringes.

Vulvar Care After Surgery

To prevent infection, good hygiene is especially important after vulvar surgery. Dr. Kathleen Yang demonstrates how to use a sitz bath, squirt bottle and other items to keep the area clean while at home or at work.