Ovarian Cyst Removal—Laparoscopic Surgery

Definition

Ovarian cyst removal is surgery to remove a cyst or cysts from one or both of your ovaries. A laparoscopic surgery uses small incisions and specialized tools. It may offer faster recovery times than open surgery.

Ovarian Cyst

 

Reasons for Procedure

An ovarian cyst may need to be removed if it is:

  • Suspected of being cancerous —the chances are lower if you are young
  • Large—more than 2.5 inches in diameter
  • Solid—rather than containing just fluid
  • Causing pain

Possible Complications

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:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Cyst returns after it is removed
  • Need for removal of one or both ovaries
  • Infertility
  • Blood clots
  • Damage to other organs

Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity
  • The use of certain prescription medications

The following may also increase your risk of complications:

  • Pregnancy
  • Prior abdominal surgery

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

Your doctor may do the following:

  • Physical exam
  • Review of medications
  • Blood tests
  • Urine test
  • CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of organs
  • Ultrasound —a test that uses sound waves to examine the abdomen
  • Electrocardiogram (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.
  • Arrange 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.

Anesthesia

  • General anesthesia —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

Description of the Procedure

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 open surgery. A larger incision will be made in the abdomen to do the surgery.