Radical Trachelectomy--During the operation, the outlined area -- which includes the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that extends into the upper end of the vagina) and surrounding tissue -- is removed. The healthy uterus (located above) is preserved and reattached to the vagina (located below).
During the Operation--Using either minimally invasive or traditional "open" surgery, the surgeon removes the cervix and some of the pelvic lymph nodes. If the edge of the cervical tissue closest to the uterus is free of cancer cells, only the cervix is removed, rather than the entire uterus. The remaining portion of the uterus is left intact and is sutured to the vagina, creating a new cervix.
The "Cerclage" Suture--Once the cervix and uterus have been separated, a suture (called a cerclage) is added where the newly created cervix and vagina will join. This suture helps to strengthen the cervix.
After the cerclage suture is added, the uterus is sutured back to the vagina, and the reproductive tract continues like normal. If the patient becomes pregnant after the surgery, she would be able to have a full-term pregnancy and give birth by cesarean section.