There’s a good chance you will never have to deal with the issue of ovarian cyst removal. The cysts often form, grow for a short period of time, then simply reabsorb into the body. However, there are a few situations that will prompt your doctor to recommend surgical removal of an ovarian cyst, such as signs that the cyst is malignant or it has grown to a size that threatens the health of your ovaries. When this happens, you do have a couple of options that merit consideration.
What Are Your Options for Ovarian Cyst Removal?
The first option for ovarian cyst removal is known as open surgery. This approach is the oldest method, and is a fully invasive procedure. With open surgery, you will check into the hospital, and go through all the preparation that is necessary for any type of operation. In the operating room, the surgeon will open your abdominal cavity. This allows the surgeon to have a clear view of the cyst and the surrounding organs and tissue.
The blood vessels that feed your ovaries are clamped, then the cyst is removed carefully. If there is any sign of a rupture, the surgeon will also remove any deposits from the cyst that have collected in the abdomen. A biopsy will be conducted on the extracted cyst, just to make sure there is no sign of cancer, and to make sure that no metastasis (spreading of cancer cells to other organs) has taken place.
What To Expect After Ovarian Cyst Removal via Open Surgery
With open surgery, you can expect your recovery time to be up to six weeks, although many women find that a month is sufficient when no complications arise during the procedure or at any point during the healing process. This type of surgery involves all the usual risks for infection, but with proper care there is a good chance you will not have any problems, other than soreness and bruising from the cutting of the skin and the muscles of the abdomen.
A second option for ovarian cyst removal is known as laparoscopic surgery. Much less invasive than open surgery, this approach makes use of a device known as a laparoscope. Essentially, this is a small device that has a tiny camera at one end. The surgeon makes a small incision, usually just below the navel. The laparoscope is inserted and routed gently to the area around the ovaries. Once the surgeon has a clear view of the location of the cyst, he or she can make a couple of additional incisions, and use small surgical tools to sever and remove the cyst.
One of the benefits of using laparoscopic surgery as your ovarian cyst removal method is that there is less trauma to your body. The smaller incisions take less time to heal than with open surgery. In addition, while your abdominal muscles may be bruised and sore for some time, they will also recover at a faster rate.
You will also find the chance for infection is reduced, which also speeds your recovery along. Depending on how the surgery goes, and if there are any complications arising from the procedure or during the recovery period, you may be healed enough to resume normal activities in two to three weeks. Your doctor can advise you of what to expect in your specific situation.
The choice of which procedure to use for ovarian cyst removal depends a great deal on what is happening with your cysts. Today, many physicians will go with the laparoscopy if at all possible; open surgery is only used if there are compelling reasons to do so. In either case, your physician will make sure you understand how to prepare for the surgery, what to expect in the way of pain afterwards, and provide instructions on what you can do to speed along your recovery.