A doctor recommends vulvectomy when cancer affects a part or all of the vulva, explains the American Cancer Society. It is also a treatment option for human papillomavirus, vulvar dysplasia, vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia or female genital mutilation, notes Omics International.
This surgical operation involves removing the affected part of the vulva, and it can be partial or radical depending on the development of cancer, as stated by the American Cancer Society. Partial vulvectomy involves removing the area of the vulva that has cancer and the edge of the tissue surrounding cancer. This procedure also entails the removal of some lymph nodes in the groin. A radical vulvectomy is more extensive, involving the removal of the whole vulva. This includes the clitoris, the inner and the outer lips, and lymph nodes. This procedure is very rare.