When an ovarian growth or cyst needs to be
closely looked at, a surgeon can do so through a small incision using
laparoscopy or through a larger abdominal incision
(laparotomy). Either type of surgery can be used to
diagnose problems such as
fibroids, and pelvic infection. But if there is any
concern about cancer, you may have a laparotomy. It gives the best view of the
abdominal organs and the
female pelvic organs. Then, if the doctor finds ovarian cancer, he or she can
safely remove it.
During surgery, a noncancerous cyst that is
causing symptoms can be removed (cystectomy), leaving the ovary intact. In some
cases, the entire ovary or both ovaries are removed, particularly when cancer
General anesthesia usually is used during surgery.
laparoscopy, you can resume normal activities within a day. But you should
avoid strenuous activity or exercise for about a week.
laparotomy, you may stay in the hospital from 2 to 4 days and return to your
usual activities in 4 to 6 weeks.
Surgery is used to confirm the
diagnosis of an ovarian cyst, remove a cyst that is causing symptoms, and rule
out ovarian cancer.
Surgery for an ovarian cyst or growth may be
advised in the following situations:
An ovarian cyst can be removed from
an ovary (cystectomy), preserving the ovary and your fertility. But it is
possible for a new cyst to form on the same or opposite ovary after a
cystectomy. New cysts can only be completely prevented by removing the ovaries
Risks of ovarian surgery include the
Surgery may be recommended if you
have a large cyst, cysts in both ovaries, or other characteristics that may
suggest ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer can occur in women of all ages, but the
incidence increases after menopause.
For more information, see
Laparoscopic Surgery Versus Laparotomy.
Complete the surgery information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this surgery.
October 8, 2012
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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