Radical Trachelectomy- what to expect? Advice if poss x

Hi everyone,
So I am going ahead with the laporasopic radical trachelectomy with lymph nodes out on 19th Feb. Scared but eager to get on with it. Finally after 3 months to have a plan in place is a great relief.
Trach ladies- can you give me a bit of info/tips as to how to prepare, what to expect, how long I might be laid up, when I’ll be up and about, how long I might be off work, what is the pain like etc.
Any ongoing bowel issues/sex issues/lymphodema that might have reared their ugly heads?
Want to be ready and equipped in every sense!
M x

Hi i had a radical trachelectomy last February and had lymph nodes out at the same time. I went into hospital on the Monday and left the Thursday. The worst pain for me was my stomach from the lymph node removal which felt like I had done a thousand  ups but apart from that I was ok. 


I  up and about in days and was fine getting around but my stomach was huge with oat info looked 6 months pregnant For weeks! 


I work in in an office and I had 6 weeks off work and went back after that full time and have been ok since. I have some minor back pain most days but I am sure  will ease in time.


i haven't had any issues with lymphodema (touch wood!) just had a numb thigh for about 10 months but that is easing now.


and I can't advise on any other issues (eg s e x) as I haven't been back  that saddle yet as I am very single lol!!! 


Feel free to message me for any other advice :)

So happy for you Maeve :-) This sounds like the perfect treatment :-) But sorry, can't offer any tips or advice.

Be lucky :-)

Hi Tiv,

You always give such great support and have been such an encouragement and crutch to me since disgnosis. The fact that you are clear and still take the time to check in on us terrified ladies is amazing. You're the mama hen of Jo's :) xx

i am SO, SO pleased you are able to have this op.


Just be as healthy as possible. excercise, fruit, veg, lots of water.  I also gave up alcohol in the run up too.  Apart from the obvious fact that I had cancer, I was probably 'healthier' than I had been in a long time!

We made sure the house was tidy and organised before I went in and prepared some homemade meals ready for me when I came home.

We organised a bit of a rota so I wouldn't be alone the first few days at home.  To be honest, I would have been fine physically but the mental distraction was very welcome. 

Be prepared to still be a bit anxious after the op.  You will be back to waiting for the test results of your lymph nodes and clear margins i'm afraid, so be prepared for this and go easy on yourself. Also make sure you have someone with you at this results appointment. I got the all clear and ended up a blubbing mess of relief!


Buy a couple of nighties.  I bought PJs and I could not wear them after the op as I was swollen. 

Peppermint tea.  The worst thing for me was the shoulder pain.  I didn't feel ANY other pain at all, but the wind pain in the shoulders was intense at times. Peppermint tea really helped.

I would also take an eye mask and earplugs.  I was desparate to sleep but couldn't with all the machinary, alarms, nurse rounds and general hustle and bustle.  Once my hubby brought in eye mask and ear plugs I finally got some sleep.

Make sure you have something comfy to wear for the trip home.  Again a loose dress or top and leggings are perfect.

when they discharge you be sure to ask for an extra pair of support socks.  They don't always give you an extra pair and you will really need them!

I also had some mild laxatives after the op to help get things moving.


The one thing I was not prepared for and that I found shocking was the swelling. My stomach, hip and groin area was huge!  I honestly could not imagine this ever going back to normal, but rest assured it does.  It took 2-3 weeks for mine to go back to normal size.

You will need to give yourself daily injections when you go home.  I found the idea of this appalling and got my husband to do it for the first week.  I plucked up the courage to do it myself one night and it was SO much better.  Not as stingy and no bruising, so if you are brave enough to give it a go I would. 

You will likley have a catheter in at the hospital and for a few days at home.  This is not as bad as it sounds and you get used to it pretty quickly. One thing I will say is that if you feel a bit strange after having the catheter out, make sure you go to the GP and get tested for infection.  I am used to UTI's so didn't go to the docs for 2 weeks as I wasn't having the usual UTI symptoms (it just felt a bit strange and I had to push a bit when I went to the loo).  In fact I had an infection and should have gone earlier. 

I was walking 20 minutes a day by week 2 and pretty much felt back to normal after 4-5 weeks (i still took it easy though so as not to push it too hard)

Sorry for the essay - i hope that helps in some way.  ANY questions, ping me a message.

N xx