Gynecologic Oncology Surgery
Gynecologic oncology surgery is a specialized type of medical procedure that focuses on the surgical treatment of cancerous tumors and abnormalities affecting the female reproductive system. This includes the uterus, cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and vulva. Gynecologic oncologists are highly trained and experienced doctors. They work closely with a team of healthcare professionals, including nurses, oncologists, and radiologists, to provide comprehensive care to patients.
Gynecologic cancer surgery can be complex and often requires a multidisciplinary approach to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient. Gynecologic oncology surgery is a critical aspect of cancer care for women and requires specialized medical professionals' expertise. Gynecologic oncologists undergo extensive training and education to best serve their patients.
What are the Diagnostic Methods of Gynecological Oncology
- Vaginal ultrasound: A probe that emits a loud sound wave is placed in the vaginal cavity and emits a sound wave. Using high-frequency sound waves, the inside of the uterus can be visualized.
- Hysteroscopy: It is the examination of the inside of the uterus by inserting a special instrument called a vaginal camera through the cervix. Hysteroscopy is both a diagnostic and a treatment method.
- Biopsy or abortion: Tissue samples can be taken to better understand the types of cancer that develop in and around the uterus.
- Computed tomography (CT): Computed tomography can be used to view the uterus and its surroundings in more detail. Three-dimensional images of the uterus can be obtained using X-rays.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This device creates a magnetic field thanks to the large magnets inside. Using radio waves in this magnetic field, detailed images of the uterus and its surroundings can be obtained.
- Smear test (PAP test): It is used to detect irregular growth in cells in the uterus and cervix. It can also help in the early detection of uterine cancer. The smear test is done by taking a painless swab from the cervix for 5 to 10 seconds.
Diseases Treated in the Gynecological Oncology Department
There are many types of cancer that develop in women. However, some types of cancer are treated by the gynecological oncology department. Diseases treated in this section can be listed as follows:
- Uterine cancer: There are tissues in the uterus that constantly thicken and then shed again. In some cases, these cells undergo changes and can reproduce by dividing abnormally. As a result, uterine cancer develops.Pain during urination, bloating and abdominal pain are typical symptoms.
- Cervical cancer: It is formed by the abnormal proliferation of cells in the layer that forms the cervix. Unusual vaginal discharge and pain during intercourse are typical symptoms.
- Ovarian cancer: Ovarian cancer may develop as a result of abnormal growth and proliferation in ovarian cells. Vaginal bleeding, abdominal pressure and bloating are typical symptoms.
- Vulvar cancer: It develops as a result of abnormal growth and proliferation of cells in the external genitalia of women. Itching, pain, lump or wart formations that do not go away in the vulvar region are typical symptoms.
What Are the Common Procedures in Gynecologic Oncologic Surgery?
Gynecologic oncology surgery is a specialized type of medical procedure that focuses on the surgical treatment of cancerous tumors and abnormalities affecting the female reproductive system. Gynecologic cancer operation can range from minimally invasive procedures, such as laparoscopy, to more complex surgeries that may require hospitalization. The kind of surgery selected will depend on the location and the stage of cancer, and the patient's general condition.
There are several different types of gynecologic oncology surgery, including:
- Radical trachelectomy
A hysterectomy is a gynecologic oncology surgical procedure to remove the uterus. It is often used to treat conditions such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse, and cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries.
The following are the different types of cancer oncology surgical procedures that fall under Hysterectomy:
- Total hysterectomy: Removes the uterus and cervix.
- Supracervical hysterectomy: Removes the uterus's top portion, and the cervix stays in place.
- Radical hysterectomy: Removes the uterus, along with the cervix and a large portion of the surrounding tissue.
The specific type of hysterectomy chosen by the surgical oncologist will depend on the patient's medical history, the surgery's reason, and the desired outcome. In some gynecological cancer cases, the ovaries may be removed along with the fallopian tubes during a hysterectomy.
After a hysterectomy, patients may experience side effects such as pain, fatigue, and menopause symptoms (if the ovaries are removed). It is crucial for you to stick to the routines and regimes prescribed by your surgical oncologist for post-surgery care and to discuss any concerns with your doctor.
An oncology treatment procedure called an oophorectomy is a method wherein one or both ovaries, organs responsible for producing both eggs, and hormones like progesterone and estrogen are removed.
An oophorectomy may be advised for several reasons, including:
- Ovarian Cancer: A kind of cancer that begins in the ovaries is called ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer treatment frequently includes ovary removal.
- Bilateral benign ovarian cysts: Large ovarian cysts that do not immaterialize may require removal of the ovaries.
- Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a medical phenomenon wherein tissue that normally lines the uterus starts developing and growing outside the uterus. Removing the ovaries may be recommended to treat severe endometriosis.
- Other types of cancer: An oophorectomy may be recommended for other types of cancer that have spread to the ovaries.
After an oophorectomy, patients may experience side effects such as pain, fatigue, and menopause symptoms (if both ovaries are removed). It is important for patients to follow their medical oncology team's instructions for post-surgery care and to discuss any concerns with their doctor.
One or both fallopian tubes may be removed during a salpingectomy, a surgical treatment for gynecological cancer. The fallopian tubes are two short tubes connecting the ovaries to the uterus and transport eggs.
There are several reasons why a salpingectomy may be recommended, including:
- Ectopic pregnancy: This happens when a pregnancy develops outside of the uterus, generally in the fallopian tube. The damaged fallopian tube may need to be removed via a salpingectomy.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease: PID is an infection of the reproductive organs that can cause scarring and damage to the fallopian tubes. A salpingectomy may be necessary to remove the damaged tubes.
- Other types of cancer: A salpingectomy may be recommended for other types of cancer that have spread to the fallopian tubes.
- Bilateral benign ovarian cysts: Large ovarian cysts that do not go away on their own may require the removal of the fallopian tubes.
A vulvectomy is a medical procedure wherein surgery is performed to remove part of the vulva or all of it. The vulva is the outer genital area of a woman, including the labia, clitoris, and vaginal opening.
There are several reasons why a vulvectomy may be recommended, including:
- Vulva cancer: Vulvar cancer affects the vulva. A vulvectomy may be necessary to remove the cancerous tissue.
- Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN): VIN is a precancerous condition that affects the cells of the vulva. A vulvectomy may be necessary to remove the abnormal cells.
- Other types of cancer: A vulvectomy may be recommended for other types of cancer that have spread to the vulva.
A radical trachelectomy is a surgical procedure in medical oncology to remove the cervix and a small portion of the vagina and surrounding tissue. It is commonly used to manage and treat early-stage cervical cancer.
The cervix, located on the lower region of the uterus, is connected to the vagina. During a radical trachelectomy, the oncologist surgeon removes the cervix and a small portion of the vagina and surrounding tissue. The uterus is not removed. Typically, the surgery is carried out laparoscopically using tiny incisions and specialized equipment. Patients may experience adverse effects following the surgery, including discomfort, exhaustion, and menopausal symptoms.
A radical trachelectomy may be advised for women with early-stage cervical cancer who want minimal risk of losing their fertility. The treatment keeps the uterus and the potential for future childbearing while removing the malignant tissue.
Taking the facts of a specific case into consideration, a gynae oncology surgeon may combine surgical procedures with other forms of treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Recent years have witnessed remarkable advances in gynecologic oncology surgery, including the development of new technologies and techniques that have improved patient outcomes.
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