Radical hysterectomy is used to treat some cases of cancer of the cervix. It involves removal of the uterus, Fallopian tubes, cervix, upper vagina, pelvic lymph glands and, occasionally, the ovaries. The vagina is stitched over at the top and shortened.
The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and takes 2-3 hours.
During the operation, a catheter is passed up the urethra into the bladder to drain off the urine. A plastic tube may be inserted into the wound to remove any slight bleeding and fluid from the lymph glands. These tubes will be left in place for 24-48 hours.
There will be some discomfort following surgery
The average hospital stay is 7-10 days. The time taken to make a full recovery varies and depends on many factors.
Following surgery, a course of radiotherapy may be necessary.