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After you have had a hysterectomy, your healthcare team will ask you to come back to the hospital for regular check-ups. This is so you continue to get proper care and support.
We know that waiting for follow-up appointments can be difficult, which is why we are here to support you. You may find it helpful to give us a call on 0808 802 8000 before or after treatment, or speak with our 1:1 service.
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After a hysterectomy, the cancer and other areas that were removed will be sent to a laboratory. A specialist called a histopathologist will look at it under a microscope. They will check whether:
Having clear margins this means there is an edge around the cancer that is ‘clear’ – there are no cancer cells there. The size of the margins that your healthcare team is happy with may vary. Usually, clear margins are 2mm or more.
If you don’t have clear margins, you may need further treatment. This may also happen:
You may be offered further surgery or chemotherapy given with radiotherapy (chemoradiation). It is important to discuss the risks and benefit of any treatments with your healthcare team.
If all the cancer has been removed, you will have regular check-ups to check that there is no sign of the cancer coming back. You will usually have check-ups:
Every hospital does check-ups differently, so it is best to ask your healthcare team about your individual plan.
At these appointments, you might see or speak to your consultant oncologist or clinical nurse specialist (CNS). These check-ups will:
These check-ups may be at the hospital, or by phone or video call. The COVID-19 pandemic means it is more likely you will be offered a phone or video call check-up, as your healthcare team will be following safety rules put in place by the hospital. However, if you or your healthcare team would prefer that you go into the hospital, they will arrange this for you.
You might have physical examinations during your check-ups. These may include:
You won’t usually have scans unless your healthcare team think you should have it. They might suggest it if you are having new symptoms. If you would feel more comfortable having a scan, it is important to ask for one.
If you are worried about anything or would like advice, you should be able to get in touch with your CNS or another member of your healthcare team.
Any type of surgery for cervical cancer can have a huge impact on your physical and emotional wellbeing. Your healthcare team, both at the hospital and at your GP surgery, are there to support you with any questions or worries you have.
Remember that we are here for you too, whether you are waiting to have surgery, are in recovery, or are years past it. Our trained volunteers can listen and help you understand what’s going on via our free Helpline on 0808 802 8000.
Our 1:1 service offers a private way to get support over email, phone call or video call. We can talk through your personal situation, as well as helping you process your feelings and think about next steps. We also welcome partners and family members to use our 1:1 service, so if you are a loved one reading this or think yours would benefit from some extra support, get in touch.
Sometimes connecting with others who have gone through a similar experience can be helpful. Our online Forum lets our community give and get support. You can read through the messages or post your own – whichever feels most comfortable.
If you have general questions about surgery for cervical cancer, our panel of medical experts may be able to help. They can’t give you answers about your individual situation or health – it’s best to speak with your GP or healthcare team for that.
Thank you to all the experts who checked the accuracy of this information, and the volunteers who shared their personal experience to help us develop it.
We write our information based on literature searches and expert review. For more information about the references we used, please contact [email protected]