Radical vulvectomy

• Radical vulvectomy is used to treat cancer of the vulva.
  It involves removal of the vulva and the lymph glands in the   groin. The urethra and vagina remain intact. Occasionally,   skin grafting may be necessary to repair the wound.

• If the cancer has not spread to the sides of the vulva, around   the clitoris, or between the vagina and anus, a simpler   procedure can be carried out. This involves removal of only   the skin around the cancer and the lymph glands in the groin.

• The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and   takes 2-3 hours.

• During the operation, a catheter is inserted into the bladder
  to drain off the urine. This may be brought out through the   abdomen rather than the urethra to prevent irritation of the   stitches. Two plastic tubes are also inserted to drain the fluid   from the lymph glands. These tubes will be left in place for
  up to 72 hours.

• There will be some discomfort following surgery which will
  be controlled with pain killers.

• The average hospital stay is 2-3 weeks and normal activities   can usually be resumed within 8-12 weeks.