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Ovarian cyst removal

An ovarian cystectomy, a surgical procedure performed to address ovarian cysts, can be carried out using two different types of surgical approaches.

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can develop within or around the ovaries. Typically, they are non-cancerous and often asymptomatic. In many cases, they resolve spontaneously without the need for intervention. However, when a cyst is large or continues to cause symptoms, a healthcare provider may recommend an ovarian cystectomy. The specific surgical method chosen will depend on the size and characteristics of the ovarian cyst.

Here's what happens during surgery

Laparoscopic Surgery: This approach is commonly employed. The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. The surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdominal area. A laparoscope, a slender tube equipped with a camera and a light source, is inserted through one incision to illuminate and inspect the area around the ovaries.

The surgeon can display images from the laparoscope on a monitor. Tiny surgical instruments or lasers are inserted through the other incisions to remove the cyst and seal the affected area on the ovary. The incisions are closed using stitches.

Laparotomy: This method is used when there's a suspicion that the cyst is large or requires a more invasive approach. The surgeon accesses the cyst through a larger incision in the abdominal area. The cyst is removed through this incision, and in certain cases, one or both ovaries may also need to be removed.

Samples may be sent to a laboratory for cancer screening. The incision is closed with stitches. Patients undergoing laparotomy may be advised to wear compression socks to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots).

After ovarian cystectomy, patients who undergo laparoscopic surgery may have the option to return home on the same day, while others may need to stay in the hospital for one or two nights.

Driving is not recommended, so arrangements should be made for transportation.

After the surgery, you may experience abdominal discomfort for approximately 7-10 days, and it is essential to adhere to any prescribed pain relief medication. The healthcare team will provide guidance on caring for your surgical wounds and schedule a follow-up appointment.

Recovery times vary from person to person, but a full recovery may typically take three to four weeks. It's important to follow any recommendations regarding the resumption of strenuous activities.

Like any surgical procedure, complications can occur, including:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Blood clots, specifically deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Specific complications related to ovarian cystectomy may include:

  • Damage to other organs
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Fever or chills
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Surgical wound infection.

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