This surgery involves the removal of the contents of an ovarian cyst using small instruments and a camera inserted into small cuts in the abdomen.
The ovaries are organs in which eggs are produced for reproduction. They also make most of the female sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone). An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on or in an ovary. They are very common, especially during the childbearing years, and are rarely cancerous. (However, since cancer is a rare possibility, when ovarian cysts are drained or removed, the contents are examined by a pathologist to see if they are cancerous.) These are a few types of ovarian cysts:
If they do not go away, or cause significant symptoms (e.g., pain in the abdomen or pelvis or abnormal menstrual bleeding) ovarian cysts may need to be aspirated or surgically removed.
Ovarian cysts do not always cause symptoms and some resolve on their own without treatment. Some symptoms that may be due to an ovarian cyst include:
Ovarian cysts can also cause infertility and scar tissue in the abdomen (adhesions).
Contact your healthcare provider if you have unexplained abdominal or pelvic pain or abnormal menstrual bleeding. He or she will perform a physical examination, including an examination of your pelvic area (internal exam). Your healthcare provider may also order laboratory tests and an ultrasound, CT scan and/or MRI imaging.
If your symptoms are severe, prolonged or interfere with your activities of daily living, your healthcare provider may recommend draining or removal of the cyst. Together you should discuss why you need to have surgery and what alternative treatments might be available to you.
Prior to surgery to drain an ovarian cyst, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before surgery. These may include:
If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking, as it can interfere with your recovery.
During your surgery, you will receive anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain free.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having this surgery?
After your procedure, it is important to know what you had done, what medication was given and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider. Understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans. Finally, make sure your gynecologist tells your primary care physician the details of your procedure and treatment plan.
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