Vaginal Excision

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What is vulvar or vaginal excision?

A vulvar or vaginal excision is when tissue on the vulva or vagina is removed.

When is it used?

This procedure is done for the following reasons:

  • To remove cancerous or precancerous cells on the vulvar or vagina.
  • To further diagnose cancer.
  • To treat chronic inflammation or the vagina or vulvar.
  • To try to answer questions not answered by routine office treatment. Your health care provider may not have been able to see all the problem tissue with office instruments.

What are the benefits of this procedure?

The abnormal tissue on the vagina or vulvar is removed. This may decrease the risk of developing cancer.   It may help your health care provider make a better diagnosis and determine the best treatment for your problem.

What are the risks associated with this procedure?

  • Damage to a vein or artery that could cause serious bleeding.
  • You develop infection in your incision.
  • Recurrence of lesion or infection.
  • Chronic pain or scarring.

How do I prepare for a vulvar or vaginal excision?

Follow your health care provider's instructions about not smoking before and after the procedure. Smokers heal more slowly after surgery. They are also more likely to have breathing problems during surgery. For this reason, if you are a smoker, you should quit at least 2 weeks before the procedure. It is best to quit 6 to 8 weeks before surgery. Also, your wounds will heal much better if you do not smoke after surgery.

Follow any other instructions your provider gives you. If you are to have general anesthesia, eat a light meal, such as soup or salad, the night before surgery. Do not eat or drink after midnight.  Do not even drink coffee, tea, or water.

What happens after the procedure?

You may go home later in the day or you may stay overnight in the hospital. This will depend on how much tissue was removed, how fast you recover from the anesthetic, and how much bleeding you have.  You should avoid heavy lifting, tampons, douching, and sexual intercourse for 4 weeks after the procedure. Ask your health care provider what other steps you should take and when you should come back for a checkup.

When should I call Greenville OB/GYN

Call our emergency number at any time if:

  • You have a fever over 100 F (37.8 C).

Call during regular office hours if:

  • You have questions about the procedure or its result.
  • You want to make another appointment.

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