Radical Trachelectomy - Scars and Recovery?

Cervical cancer

For people affected by cancer of the cervix to get together, ask questions, share experiences and support each other

Radical Trachelectomy - Scars and Recovery?

No. of entries: 23 | Posted on 04 Oct 2012 09:00
  • Hi all - I have been reading your updates and truely insipired! You guys are the best :)  I know many of you are going through chemo / radiation - its sounds like a real up and down journey - the doctors have told me I don't need that at this stage - but I have been booked in for a Radical Trachelectomy on the 23rd October (I am 34 and still yet to have babies..) so the think this is the best option for me.  For those lovely ladies who have had this - what are your scars like? How long did it take you get back on your feet? I need to talk to the doctors about all this (as I was a bit in shock when they told me at the hospital!) any info would be gratefully recieved xx 

  • Hi Debs, I had the same surgery in July aged only 24. My scar is amazing, not what I was expecting at all.. It goes from my belly button straight down. It is very thin at the top and a little thicker at the bottom but i was so pleased with mine. I was in hospital for 6days (including the day of my surgery) and i was pretty much doing a few bits and bobs around the house after about two weeks. They say its a 12 week recovery for this type of surgery so i have about 3 weeks to go :) I pretty much feel back to normal but get myself upset when I hear of other people having babies as I too have none. Any questions you have feel free to ask xx

  • Hi! I had mine at the end of June! I had keyhole surgery. I have 4 teeny tiny scars on my belly. Each one is about 1cm across. 1 just above my belly button, 1 to each side of my pelvis and 1 down low. They are really purple at the min but I'm really white and hope they fade soon. I was in hospital for 3 nights. my surgery was even recorded for training purposes. Recovery wise, I was very sore for the 1st couple of weeks finding it hard to even move around the house but after that I was improving every day! I'd say within about 8 weeks I was completely back to normal. I work in a pre school so luckily I was off work for summer closure for the entire recovery period, so had no pressure to return to work. I've now been back at work for a month, getting on great. As I had a conization 6 weeks before my trachelectomy, I haven't had my circlage stitch in yet, it's scheduled for January so I will have another wee scar on my belly after that as well as that's also done by keyhole. Hope ur doing well, any questions feel free to ask!!

    L x

  • Oh forgot to say, my legs were completely numb at the top of my thighs for about 2 months! There was a very strange feeling when the feeling started to come back, like pins and needles running up & down my legs and they got sore very quickly. Even now at times my legs can get numb, but they aren't sore any more. X

    L x

  • Hi Emma - thanks for the info, I am not sure if they need to 'cut me open' or if they are doing keyhole, so will need to check with my doctor.  I think I will be in hospital for about 5 days - so similar to you.  I am going to get signed off work for the rest of the year (that sounds like a really long time!) so should be in line with what you have experienced.  A friend at work brough her little one in today (her baby is less than a month old!) so it was wierd to think that my options will be limited in the future - no normal birth and the higher risk of miscarrage etc - but at least we are alive eh?! I think we just need to remember what we are going through and know that what doesn't kill us can only make us stronger - and we will actually be stronger people having been through all this - and when we have babies, we will appreciate them that much more - knowing what we have been through and how it could have turned out  so differently.  I am not out of the woods yet, but staying positive.. I will keep you posted on my recovery - and will no doubt be panic emailing the day before the surgery, I have never gone 'under the knife' before - so I am sure I will be all over the place!! xx

  • My experience is much like wee_linz. We were diagnosed around the same time. I had a radical vaginal trachelectomy. I think the little scars are from the lymph node removal, but I don't know for sure. I have 4 as well. One each side on the front of my hips/belly, one in my belly button and one in the middle below my belly button. They are about 1cm in length. One has almost disappeared. They don't bother me at all.

    Recovery was same as wee-linz as well. I felt really bloated and huge after surgery - ironically I looked 4 months pregnant! I was in hospital for 6 days. I went home and took things relaly easy for a week, and started moving about. Initially my thighs swelled up, but resting with my feet up cured this. After a couple of months I was back riding horses.

    I have numbness in my left thigh and the left leg is much weaker than the right. I got pins and needles and it was really sore at first, but that went. I cannot feel hot or cold in the left thigh still, but I use that leg to rest my hair straighteners on, so it's almost a bonus.

    All in all, I would say that the procedure and the recovery was not that bad. I hope that has helped put your mind at rest a little. I'm 36 and have no children yet - and it's rough to see people getting pregnant and having babies since I was just about to start trying. I have been told I am not allowed to have a go until March next year.

    I have had one complication though - my uterus has closed up (unlike wee_linz, I do already have the stitch in place) and I need to go back in for surgery to be re-opened up. I have not had a period since the operation and every month I get pretty bad cramps. I think I'm slowly filling up. But I need to stress, this is the exception rather than the rule. Ask your doctor whether they are going to put a stitch (cerclage) in place when you have the procedure.

    Sorry this was so long!

  • HI Linz, thank you for message, I am not sure if I having keyhole or not- so I will have to check with my doctor.  It is great to hear you are back on your feet - and wokring for a pre school is probably pretty active work! :)  You are brave having it recorded for training purposes! With my luck it would end up on You Tube.. .! :)  I work as an HR Manager, so it is pretty stressful work, so going to take as much time off as I need.  Pretty much said I would need the rest of the year off.  I need to ask about the stitch thingy - as I am a bit confused how you can still have your period if you are stiched up! How can anything pass through? I think these questions are probably a bit stupid to be asking on a forum - so it might be best to ring a Macmillian nurse! I was a bit in shock when they told me about the op / MRI etc etc - so lots of quesitons now coming into my mind that I didn't think about.. I will keep you posted anyway on it all - take care and thank you for sharing xx

  • I can answer the stitch question...

    It's not like they stitch the hole up, they put a ring around the bottom of the uterus to create a tiny 'neck'. Like if you had an open paper bag and tied it with a hair band. Does that make sense? It's enough to let the menstruation out. Or it should be. Mine has closed over.

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