Ovarian Cyst Removal—Open Surgery
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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 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 medicines
- Previous abdominal surgery
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam
- Review of medicines
- 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 medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, such as:
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin)
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- 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.
- General anesthesia —blocks pain and keeps you asleep through the surgery; given through an IV in your hand or arm
Description of the Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions .
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Gently wash the incision area with mild soap and water.
- Move and elevate your legs while in bed. This will lessen the chance of blood clots .
- Take prescription pain medicine only for as long as needed. Take over-the-counter pain relievers (such as ibuprofen , naproxen ) if the pain is mild.
- Avoid strenuous exercise for 2-6 weeks.
- Do not drive until your doctor states this is safe.
- 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 medicines 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 medicines you were given after surgery, or which persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospital
- Headaches, muscle aches, dizziness, 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
National Uterine Fibroids Foundation http://www.nuff.org
Women's Health.gov http://www.womenshealth.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Ovarian cysts. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ovarian-cysts/DS00129/DSECTION=7 . Updated July 20, 2007. Accessed June 10, 2008.
Ovarian tumors. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated November 2010. Accessed November 12, 2010.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm
- Review Date: 09/2012
- Update Date: 09/27/2012