Ovarian Cystectomy: Ovarian removal, ovarian surgery, ovarian cyst surgery
What Is It?
An ovarian cystectomy is surgery performed to operate on or remove a large or suspect ovarian cyst or other anomaly. Often women have benign or noncancerous cysts in their ovaries and in other places in the body that do not cause any trouble. Sometimes cysts are discovered accidentally through a routine ultrasound of the reproductive organs.
In cases where a woman has very large cysts or cysts with cancer, there may be excess pain and discomfort associated with having cysts. Cancerous cysts could spread to other areas of the body, so in case like this surgery is really the only sensible treatment option. The surgeon typically performs a traditional open abdominal operation known as a laparotomy or a smaller incision using a laparoscope. Usually the traditional surgery provides the best possible platform with which to work.
Ovarian cysts are common and often benign or non cancerous. This is good news for the majority of women diagnosed with cysts annually. If a cyst begins to cause problems including edema or pain however, there may be a problem that requires medical examination. However atypical cysts and cysts that are too large are sometimes still cause for concern. Sometimes they do nothing more than cause discomfort, whereas other times they may need to be removed for further testing. Usually operations are recommended for the following patients:
- When patients have masses or growths in both ovaries.
- If the cyst is bigger than 3 inches long and wide.
- If ultrasound examination shows the cyst is more than a functional cyst, which may be cause for suspicion.
- If there is any suspicion the mass may be malignant.
When the cyst is removed during an ovarian cystectomy, traditionally the surgeon creates an incision through the abdominal wall to visualize the ovaries. The cyst can then be removed safely. Surgery is often recommended for women that are post menopausal because they are most at risk for complications and for cancer.
If ovarian cancer is present the surgeon will remove the cancer, which may require complete removal of the ovaries.
Alternatives to Surgery
Alternatives to surgery may include imaging studies like an ultrasound if the doctor is fairly confident the cysts are benign and no masses are present that look like cancer. Some women may try many alternative health modalities to improve the overall health and wellness of their reproductive systems, which may result in longer-term benefits. Alternative or natural health and herbal medicine may also help some women cope with the side effects associated with cancer treatment.
Before The Operation
Before the operation most doctors will perform a full physical. They will review all lab results and likely review all radiographic images to confirm or support the diagnosis of ovarian cysts requiring a cystectomy. They may ask patients to stop smoking before surgery and may ask patients to stop eating for up to 12 hours before surgery to prepare for anesthesia.
After The Operation
Following surgery patients should avoid strenuous activities including exercise for anywhere from one week to about six weeks depending on the type of surgery they have had done. Patients with a laparascopy will recover more quickly than patients that have had a laparotomy. Because a laparotomy involves a deeper incision, the patient will spend a longer time recovering. They may stay in the hospital for up to four days after surgery, and it may take up to 6 weeks before they can return to full activities.
Complications are always a risk factor of surgeries. There may be complications associated with excessive bleeding or infection following surgery. Some patients may have a recurrence of cysts following surgery, so this surgery cannot offer a guarantee that cysts will not return unless the ovaries are completely removed, a process or surgery known as an oophorectomy.
Other complications may include the buildup of scar tissue or adhesions which may form at the surgical site or in the ovaries and surrounding tissues, or damage to the bowel and bladder. It is important women remember to report any unusual pain, discomfort or any other unusual signs to their doctors.
An ovarian cystectomy is often recommended for patients that have abnormal masses and tumors growing in the ovaries. Surgery is either performed as a laparotomy or as a laparoscopy. Often a doctor will remove noncancerous cysts they find during surgery, a process known as the ovarian cystectomy. If a surgeon finds cancer in the cysts the doctor will likely remove the entire ovary.
There may be cases where the cancer has spread which may necessitate removal of both ovaries and surrounding tissue. General anesthesia is the agent of choice used by doctors. Most patients will be able to return to normal activity shortly after surgery, but patients having the laparotomy will have to take it easier for a bit longer as their body’s will not recover quite as fast.
Estimated Costs for Ovarian Cystectomy
The costs of an ovarian cystectomy often vary depending on how severe a woman’s condition is and what her age and overall health are like. Some women will need to have both ovaries removed. Costs may include surgery, anesthesia and time spent recovering.