Surgery for cervical cancer

Surgery is one of the main treatments for cervical cancer. Surgery might include removing most of the cervix (radical trachelectomy) or the womb (radical hysterectomy).

Surgery to remove the cervix (radical trachelectomy)

A radical trachelectomy is an operation to remove most of the cervix, the tissue around the cervix and the upper part of the vagina.

Surgery to remove the womb (radical hysterectomy)

A radical hysterectomy is an operation to remove the cervix, tissues around the cervix, womb, fallopian tubes and top part of the vagina. It might also include removal of the ovaries.

Pelvic exenteration for cervical cancer

A pelvic exenteration is an operation to remove the cervix, womb and ovaries, part or all of your vagina, lymph nodes and other organs in the pelvis, such as the bladder or part of the bowel.

Before your operation for cervical cancer

Before surgery for cervical cancer, you have tests to check your fitness and you meet members of your treatment team.

On the day of cervical cancer surgery

You have a general anaesthetic so you can't feel anything during the operation. This sends you into a deep sleep. 

After cervical cancer surgery

After surgery to remove your cervix or womb, most people can go back to normal activities after a few weeks, but it can take up to 3 months to fully recover.

Problems after cervical cancer surgery

Possible problems after cervical cancer surgery include damage to organs or swelling in one or both legs (lymphoedema). Other risks include infection, blood clots and bleeding.

Last reviewed: 
08 Sep 2023
Next review due: 
08 Sep 2026