Ovarian cysts are sacs filled with fluids or other substances located on or in an ovary. In some cases, these cysts need to be removed surgically. Multiple ovarian cysts may be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). A diagnosis of PCOS indicates the need for careful monitoring of symptoms and ongoing PCOS treatment, which may include an ovarian cystectomy procedure.
An ovarian cystectomy procedure removes cysts from an affected ovary. A cystectomy may be required if a cyst:
Having ovarian cysts doesn't always require an ovarian cystectomy procedure. In most cases, ovarian cysts won't cause any problems and will disappear on their own. Your doctor may prescribe birth control pills to prevent ovulation, lowering the possibility of cyst development. In some cases, PCOS treatment may involve removing cyst fluids through a needle.
A laparoscopic cystectomy procedure is a relatively minor surgery, usually lasting no longer than an hour. The doctor places the patient under general anesthesia, and inserts a thin tube called a laparoscope through several small incisions in the abdomen. She then threads surgical tools and a fiber-optic camera through the laparoscope to perform the cystectomy.
A laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy is less invasive than conventional surgeries, making it a very popular ovarian cystectomy procedure. Laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy recovery times are also shorter for than those of a traditional cystectomy procedure.
In most cases, a cystectomy removes only the cyst, leaving the ovaries intact. If, however, laparoscopic examination reveals the cyst is too large or connected to significant amounts of ovarian tissue, a doctor may warrant removal of the entire ovary. In order to rule out the possibility of ovarian cancer, your doctor may also biopsy any tissue that has been removed.
Although each ovarian cystectomy procedure is relatively simple, any surgery carries a certain amount of risk. Patients may need medication to manage pain during ovarian cystectomy recovery periods. Other side effects include:
As is the case with any surgery, you should understand the risks of this type of PCOS treatment before proceeding.
Ovarian cystectomy recovery times vary depending on whether the operation was an open surgery or a laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy. On average, laparoscopic surgery recovery takes less than four weeks.
Of the three PCOS treatment options that are used to remove ovarian cysts, a cystectomy is usually the preferred surgery. A hysterectomy removes the uterus, and in some cases, the ovaries and other parts of the reproductive system. An oophorectomy removes one or both ovaries.
An ovarian cystectomy removes the cyst, not the actual ovaries. This allows important hormones, such as estrogen, to continue production. The ovarian cystectomy procedure doesn't remove the uterus either, so fertility isn't usually affected.
Since a cystectomy doesn't remove the uterus or ovaries, it won't increase the risk of osteoporosis or induce early menopause, avoiding the need for hormonal replacement treatments.
Ovarian cysts are not preventable. However, regular pelvic exams may help lead to an early diagnosis of PCOS, so that the problem can be treated and resolved without surgery. If you have any symptoms that might be related to ovarian cysts, report them to your physician immediately.
Fairview Health Services Staff. (2007). Laparoscopy for ovarian cystectomy. Retrieved February 22, 2010, from the Fairview Health Services Web site: http://www.fairview.org/healthlibrary/content/wha_lapovcys_wha.htm.
iVillage Staff. (n.d.). Treatment and prevention of ovarian cysts. Retrieved February 22, 2010, from the iVillage Web site: http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/ovarian-cysts.html?pageNum=7#7.
Jocoy, S. (2008). Surgery for ovarian cysts. Retrieved February 22, 2010, from the University of Michigan Health System Web site: http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/wha/wha_lapovcys_crs.htm.
information on health-related topics, not medical advice, diagnosis or
treatment recommendations. Please consult your physician if you have questions