This is surgery to remove a
cyst on an ovary
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An ovarian cyst may need to be removed if it is:
Suspected of being
—the chances are lower if you are youngLarge—more than 2.5 inches in diameterSolid—rather than containing just fluidCausing pain
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have an ovarian cyst removed, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
InfectionBleedingCyst returns after it is removedNeed for removal of one or both ovariesInfertilityBlood clotsDamage to other organs
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:
SmokingDrinkingChronic disease such as diabetes or obesityThe use of certain prescription medications
The following may also increase your risk of complications: PregnancyPrior abdominal surgery
Your doctor may do the following:
Physical examReview of medicationsBlood testsUrine testCT scan
—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of organs
—a test that uses sound waves to examine the abdomen
(ECG, EKG)—a test that records the heart's activity by measuring electrical currents through the heart muscle
Talk to your doctor about what action should be taken if cancer is found during surgery. One option is to remove the ovary.
Leading up to the surgery:
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure, like:
such as ibuprofen and naproxen
Anti-platelet medicationsArrange for a ride to and from the hospital. Also, arrange for someone to help you at home.Do not eat or drink for at least eight hours before the surgery.
—blocks pain and keeps you asleep through the surgery; given through an IV in your hand or arm
Local anesthesia—just the area that is being operated on is numbed; given as an injection and may also be given with a sedative
A small incision will be made just below the navel. Next, a laparoscope will be inserted. This is a thin tube with a camera on the end. To allow the doctor to better view the organs, carbon dioxide gas will be pumped into the abdomen. The laparoscope will be used to locate the cyst. When it is found, one or two more incisions will be made. Surgical instruments will be inserted to remove the cyst. Tissue may be removed for testing. If cancer is found, both ovaries may need to be removed. After the cyst is removed, the instruments will be removed. The incision area will be closed with stitches or staples.
In some cases, the doctor may switch to an
. A larger incision will be made in the abdomen to do the surgery.
Laparoscopic Ovary Removal
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After the procedure, you will be given IV fluids and medications while recovering.
There will be pain after the surgery. Your doctor will give you pain medication.
You may stay overnight, or you may be able to leave the hospital the same day as your surgery.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as: Washing their handsWearing gloves or masksKeeping your incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chances of infection such as: Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the sameReminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masksNot allowing others to touch your incisions
Recovery may take 1-2 weeks.
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Signs of infection, including fever and chillsRedness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision sitePain that you cannot control with the medications you have been givenIncreased vaginal bleeding or dischargeCough
, shortness of breath, chest pain
Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medications you were given after surgery, or which persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospitalHeadaches, muscle aches, lightheadedness, or general ill feelingConstipation
or abdominal swelling
VomitingUrinary difficultiesOnset of pain or swelling in one or both legsNew, unexplained symptoms
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Ovarian cyst. American Academy of Family Physicians' FamilyDoctor.org website. Available at:
http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/women/reproductive/gynecologic/279.html. Updated August 2010. Accessed January 7, 2014.
Ovarian cysts. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/ovarian-cysts.html. Updated July 16, 2012. Accessed January 7, 2014.
Last reviewed December 2013 by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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