Updated: Aug 10, 2019
A young Nottingham mum is celebrating the birth of her first child after having a rare operation to remove part of her womb.
Rebecca Campher had the unique procedure following a devastating diagnosis of cervical cancer at just 33 years old.
However, by undergoing a rare operation - known as a radical trachelectomy - it allowed her to be able to conceive her baby as well as removing the cancer.
She said: “To have cervical cancer at the age of 33 isn’t something that I was ever contemplating, so to be given that news was so devastating. We had been trying to conceive and all of sudden my world came crashing down. On top of coming to terms with having cancer, I was facing the prospect of a hysterectomy and the end of my dreams of being a mother. But my consultant, Mr Jafaru Abu, discussed the possibility of another procedure, which wasn’t without risk, but would mean a much stronger possibility of having children in the future.”
In 2014, just a few months after getting married, Rebecca was diagnosed with cervical cancer following a routine smear test.
Rebecca’s consultant Gynaecologist Mr Abu proposed a radical trachelectomy, an operation to remove the cervix (neck of the womb).
It is a rare procedure only offered by a number of NHS Trusts in the UK as an alternative to a traditional radical hysterectomy.
The procedure, which is an option in the early stages of cervical cancer, gave Rebecca a chance to have children.
A permanent suture - called a cervical cerclage suture - is placed at the lower part of the womb to reduce the risk of miscarriage or premature labour.
Rebecca said: “Mr Abu was absolutely tremendous throughout, explaining every part of the process in detail and taking me through some tests to make sure I was suitable for the procedure.”
In February 2015, a month after diagnosis, Rebecca was admitted for the procedure at Nottingham City Hospital.
Following a successful procedure, Rebecca was cleared to conceive six months later.
Although unable to conceive naturally, a period of IVF treatments led to a successful pregnancy in July 2018, and in February 2019, Rebecca became a mother to Everleigh Grace by caesarean section.
Rebecca said: “This was a carefully monitored pregnancy, but I was in such good hands. From around 24 weeks until birth I was in City Hospital and Mr Abu was constantly around.
"He was even around for the birth! My obstetrician Judith came to see me every week, and my gynaecology nurse specialist Julie was a constant source of strength. It really was an amazing team to be around.”
Mr Abu added: “As this wasn’t an everyday situation for us, we had to make sure that Rebecca’s situation was well managed. Once someone has had a radical trachelectomy there is a risk of miscarriage or premature birth. We’re really pleased that Rebecca has had a successful pregnancy – it’s been a pleasure getting to know her, and now her baby girl!”
Rebecca still has to visit the hospital every six months for check-ups.
She said: “To be honest, coming back isn’t a chore at all because I get to see the team again. If it wasn’t for Mr Abu, I wouldn’t be a mother today.”
This article was written and published by Nottingham Post https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/nottingham-news/rare-operation-cures-young-mum-3181645