(Skinning Vulvectomy; Partial Vulvectomy; Radical Vulvectomy; Simple Vulvectomy; Vulvectomy—Skinning; Vulvectomy—Partial; Vulvectomy—Radical; Vulvectomy—Simple)
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Reasons for Procedure
- Pain, numbness, or tenderness of the vulva
- Wound not closing properly
- Blood clots in the legs
- Tightness or dryness of the vagina
- Inability to have an orgasm
- Chronic leg swelling
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Do a physical exam and review your medical history.
- Perform blood and imaging tests.
- Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to 1 week before the procedure.
- Arrange for a ride to and from the hospital.
- The night before surgery, do not eat or drink after midnight.
Description of the Procedure
- Skinning vulvectomy—removes the top layer of skin
- Simple vulvectomy—removes multiple layers of skin and tissue
- Partial vulvectomy—removes a part of the vulva, as well as some nearby tissue and lymph nodes
- Radical vulvectomy—removes the entire vulva, including nearby tissue and lymph nodes
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Pain medications
- Antibiotics to prevent infection
- Medication to prevent blood clots
- Getting out of bed and walking around
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incisions
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, tenderness, a lot of bleeding, or discharge from the surgery site
- Pain, redness, hot skin, or swelling in your legs
- Burning or pain when urinating
- Pain not controlled by the medication given
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain, chest pain, or trouble breathing
- Wound opens
American Cancer Society www.cancer.org
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
After surgery for vulval cancer. Macmillan Cancer Support website. Available at: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertypes/Vulva/Livingwithvulvalcancer/Aftersurgery.aspx. Updated December 1, 2011. Accessed November 26, 2014.
Having your operation for vulval cancer. Cancer Research UK website. Available at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/vulval-cancer/treatment/surgery/having-your-operation-for-vulval-cancer. Updated December 11, 2013. Accessed November 26, 2014.
Surgery for vulval cancer. Macmillan Cancer Support website. Available at: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertypes/Vulva/Treatingvulvalcancer/Surgery.aspx. Updated December 1, 2011. Accessed November 26, 2014.
Vulvar cancer treatment. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/vulvar/Patient/page4. Updated July 23, 2014. Accessed November 26, 2014.
Vulvectomy—a patient's guide. The Society of Gynecologic Oncology of Canada website. Available at: https://www.g-o-c.org/en/patientadvocacy/cancers/vulvptguide.aspx. Accessed November 26, 2014.
Which surgery for vulval cancer? Cancer Research UK website. Available at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/vulval-cancer/treatment/surgery/which-surgery-for-vulval-cancer. Updated January 16, 2014. Accessed November 26, 2014.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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