The University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, the state's only comprehensive cancer center, is one of only a few centers in the United States performing radical trachelectomy (or cervicectomy), a procedure which removes the cervix but keeps the uterus intact to maintain fertility.
Lymph nodes in the pelvis are also removed using a laparoscope to see if the cancer has spread. A laparoscope is a lighted instrument that is passed through a small incision to remove the lymph nodes.
Previously, the only treatment for cervical cancer had been a radical hysterectomy, in which both the uterus and the cervix were removed.
The radical trachelectomy has a shorter recovery time, causes less pain and is as effective for treating cervical cancer as a radical hysterectomy.