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Operations: Simple vulvectomy

Insurance code: P0510

Introduction: This information is written by John Fairbank and is provided for the benefit of his patients. Additional information will be given during consultation in the clinic and during the pre-operative discussion. It is not appropriate for all surgeons’ individual practice or for all patients.

Purpose of operation: To remove part of the vulval skin but usually not the clitoral tissue or underlying lymph nodes or local lymph nodes. The operation is done for pre-cancerous skin (V.I.N), very early cancers or some inflammatory skin conditions that do not respond to medical treatments.

Description of procedure: The area of skin to be removed is defined and demarcated. The area of skin is removed and the edges of the excised area sutured back together with fine stitches.

Anaesthetic: Usually under general anaesthetic but occasionally under local if the affected area requiring removal is small.

Length of stay: Day case

Post-operative management: The vulval skin should be kept cleaned and dry for about three days so bathing and showering are not practical. After three days, normal bathing can be resumed. Salt and anti-septics should not be added to the water.

Potential complications: Complications are rare. Bleeding around the time of surgery would require an extra stitch. Infection in the skin would require a short course of anti-biotics. Wound breakdown could occur if the stitches are put under too much stretch so sex, cycling, and exercise are best avoided for about two weeks.

Post-operative consultation: A follow up consultation will be recommended depending on the indication for surgery and the procedure itself.

Relevant websites

Information on vulval surgery and vulval cancer

Information on vulval surgery and vulval cancer