Frequently Asked Questions

1. A Hysterectomy? What is it?
2. A Hysterectomy? What Kind?
3. Frightened and Anxious?
4. Go to doctor appointment with her?
5. How can the rest of the family and friends help?
6. How to Prepare the Room?
7. Is a Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy Best?
8. Light housework? What is that?
9. No Libido?
10. Post-op bleeding?
11. SEX! When can we get back to normal?
12. Swelly belly? Tender belly?
13. Trouble getting out of bed?
14. What Type of Surgeon for Cancer?
15. When can she cook?
16. Why Does She Need a Second Opinion?
17. Why is my wife not feeling better?

* What Type of Surgeon for Cancer?

What types of surgeons are available for my cancer surgery?

I have been told I have cancer by my gynecologist. I want the best outcome possible so that I have the best opportunity to beat this disease. Should I stay with my gynecologist or look for a different Dr.?

You are wise to ask this question so you can get the best outcome for your diagnosis. There are several types of Doctors that can do your surgery but realize that there are factors, such as where you live, that can influence your options. Regardless of who does the surgery the organs should be sent for pathology test to complete the staging of the cancer.

The following are possible types of surgeons:

Gynecological oncologist (aka gyn-onc) is a specialist in female reproductive anatomy along with additional training in cancer of the reproductive system. This is generally considered the best option especially if you have a confirmed cancer diagnosis. They are not available in all areas. Some women travel hours to see one and have them do their surgery. Many women with pre-cancer diagnosis see them since cancer could be found during the surgery. Some studies indicate better outcomes for those with a cancer diagnosis when a gyn-onc is involved early. Your gynecologist may refer you to a gyn-onc.

Obstetrical gynecologist or gynecologist who will do the surgery with an oncologist in attendance. The ob-gyn or gyn does the initial incisions and lets the oncologist take over in order to check for cancer and do the procedures such as pelvic washes and lymph node dissection. The oncologist may be a specialist in cancer but is not necessarily a specialist in cancers of the female anatomy. The ob-gyn or gyn will usually do the surgical closures.

Ob-gyn or gyn who has handled some oncology cases if there are no gyn-oncs or oncologists in the area. This is not the norm but either through additional training or some other experiences they can recognize some cancers and so some addition activities such as pelvic washes and lymph node removal. You should make sure you thoroughly discuss how they got their experience and what outcomes they have had with their patients. Normally a gyn-onc will review the frozen sections and the pathology report to determine next course of treatment.

Ob-gyn or gyn with no oncology experience would not be recommended in any of situations where cancer is suspected since they are not familiar with the procedures to recognize cancer. Additionally they may not know how to do pelvic washes or lymph node dissections.

We hope this helps you find the best surgeon for your situation.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.