If you have been diagnosed with an ovarian cyst, surgical removal maybe necessary. It is important to be well informed and educated on the different options and the process of ovarian cyst removal surgery. It is important for the patient to be well informed and ask questions. A second opinion is recommended when the surgery is not of eminent need, due to rupture.
The surgery can be performed in two ways. The first is through a procedure called, “laparoscopy” More commonly known as, “laproscopic surgery” this surgery is done through the abdomen in tiny incisions, the abdominal area is filled with a gaseous substance and several small incisions are made for the surgeon to enter into the cavity and get a look at the entire area and remove diseased or damaged tissue. This method usually indicates a shorter recovery time for the patient. The second way is through a larger abdominal incision called a, “laparotomy” This procedure is a larger incision and means a longer recovery period for the patient. This technique is called for more often when a cancerous cyst is suspected. The surgery performed this way gives the surgeon an opportunity to see other organs and if disease has spread to them. Both surgeries are done under general anesthesia.
During surgery, a cyst that is determined to be noncancerous can be removed, while preserving the ovary itself. This is called a cystectomy, leaving the ovary intact. In other cases, especially those where cancer maybe suspected or there is excessive damage to the ovary or ovaries, the entire ovary or ovaries can be removed. When both ovaries are removed the procedure is called a, “oophorectomy” This procedure will leave the patient unable to conceive through natural methods. Biopsies (tests for cancer) will often be performed on the cyst, the fluid of it and if suspected surrounding tissue in the abdominal area maybe removed to test further. Some cysts can return if the ovary is left intact, it therefore important to talk to your doctor regarding whether or not a cystectomy is your best option to avoid another surgery down the road.
The laproscopic procedure is typically done on an outpatient basis. The patient can return to activities within a few days, limiting strenuous activities and excessive lifting for a couple of weeks. The laparotomy procedure typically involves a hospital inpatient stay of one to two days. Resuming of regular activities takes about 4-6 weeks, until healing is complete. Biopsy result can take up to 10 days. A follow up visit after surgery is needed for both, this visit is to check on healing, look for signs of infection, discuss test results and depending on the closure that was used, to remove stitches or staples in the case of the laparotomy procedure. Which ovarian cyst removal surgery to be used should be discussed with your doctor.
As with any surgery there are always risks, ovarian cyst removal surgery is no different. There are risks associated with general anesthesia that should be discussed with an anesthesiologist. Risks directly associated with the cyst removal are: adhesions (scar tissue) may develop and disrupt other organs or require additional surgery, if the entire ovary is not removed the cysts can return, the pain associated with the cyst may not be controlled, infection at surgical site or in the abdominal area and the bowel or bladder maybe damaged during surgery, extending recovery time or requiring additional surgeries. Being informed and being prepared will make ovarian cyst removal surgery less stressful and a more positive experience.