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How Are Ovarian Cysts Treated?

removal of ovarian cyst using laparoscopy

Most of the time, ovarian cysts disappear on their own and they don’t need treatment Indeed, there are many cases where it is never discovered that the cyst is there at all. Whether or not it requires treatment depends on a variety of factors, including its appearance and size, the presence of symptoms and whether or not you have already gone through menopause.

Waiting and Watching
Usually, people are recommended to just wait and watch, unless immediate treatment is required. Regular ultra-sound scans will monitor whether the cyst is going. However, if ovarian cysts don’t disappear, further ovarian cysts treatment is required.

Ovarian Cyst Surgery
If the cyst is very large, or if there are bad ovarian cyst symptoms, then it would need to be surgically removed. Sometimes, this is recommended as a preventative measure. Other times, an operation is recommended just to take a closer look at the cyst. Two types of surgery can be used to obtain ovarian cyst removal, which are a laparotomy and laparoscopy. Both are generally done under general anesthetic.

Laparoscopy
If the cyst is reasonably small, a laparoscopy could be sufficient to remove it. This is keyhole surgery, whereby surgical tools are inserted through small cuts in the abdomen. The microscope will allow surgeons to look at what they are doing, and they will literally grip the cyst, cut it and remove it. Stitches then close the cut up. This surgery only takes about an hour and is generally done on an outpatient basis. Recovery is very quick, which is another reason why this surgery is preferred. It is a type of non-invasive surgery.

Laparotomy
A laparotomy is performed if the cyst is potentially cancerous. This is more invasive, because a larger cut needs to be applied so the surgeon is able to reach better. This is usually done around the bikini line. Here, both the cyst and the ovary are removed for biopsy. The surgery is major and requires a catheter to be inserted as well. You will have an overnight stay in hospital.

Effects on Fertility
If a single ovary is removed, the other one will still function properly. This means that you are still fertile and healthy. There is a slight reduction in fertility, but not much. However, if you find that both ovaries have to be removed, then you will go into early menopause. If you do still want to have children, you could have an egg implanted in the womb through a donated egg. Some women choose to have their own eggs harvested first, so that they can have a baby with their own eggs.

Recovery Time
Surgeons will always try to keep a reproductive system intact. They may be able to preserve ovaries, even if a cyst is possible, or at least keep the fallopian tube. This is known as ovarian cystectomy. Recovery of this procedure tends to be about two weeks. Unfortunately, the procedure is only possible on small cysts.

Even if the entire cyst has to be removed, recovery may still only be about two weeks. However, if you have to undergo a laparotomy, the recovery period may be as much as eight weeks.

If a biopsy has taken place, then it will usually take about four weeks for the results to be returned. Luckily, cancer is one of the less likely ovarian cyst causes, and most of the time it is perfectly harmless.

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