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Reasons for Procedure
- Suspected of being cancer (the chances are lower if you are young)
- Large—more than 2.5 inches (6.35 centimeters) in diameter
- Solid (rather than containing just fluid)
- Causing pain
- Cyst returns after it is removed
- Need for removal of one or both ovaries
- Blood clots
- Damage to other organs
- Chronic or recent illness
- Heavy use of alcohol , smoking , or use of narcotics (may make delivering anesthesia more difficult or impair wound healing)
- Use of certain prescription medications
- Previous abdominal surgery
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- 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 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.
Description of the Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Avoid strenuous exercise for 2-6 weeks.
- Do not resume sexual activity until your doctor says it is okay. You may need to wait two weeks.
- Follow your doctor's guidelines for ultrasound tests. These may need to be done if it is likely that the cysts will return.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
- Unexpected amount of vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Cough , shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medications you were given after surgery, or which persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospital
- Headaches, muscle aches, lightheadedness, or general ill feeling
- Constipation or abdominal swelling
- Urinary difficulties
- Onset of pain or swelling in one or both legs
- New, unexplained symptoms
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
Women's Health.gov—US Department of Health and Human Services http://www.womenshealth.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Ovarian cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 17, 2014. Accessed October 29, 2014.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -