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What is an Ovarian Cystectomy?

An ovarian cystectomy is a procedure to remove one or more cysts from the ovaries. In women, ovaries are reproductive organs where the eggs mature. Sometimes, fluid fills on the surface or inside the ovary forming a cyst. If the cyst causes serious health problems, an ovarian cystectomy is done to remove the cyst.

What causes ovarian cysts?

Ovaries have a sac called follicle where the eggs develop and mature. When the egg is released, the follicle should break. If the follicle does not break, the fluid inside it is retained which forms the cyst.

Symptoms / when to call your doctor

Usually, cysts are harmless. They form and disappear on their own. However, sometimes they cause symptoms like:

  • Pain in the pelvic area

  • Bloating and heaviness in the abdomen

  • Fever, nausea, chills

  • Painful bowel movements

Why you should see a doctor?

If the cyst does not cause any discomfort, you can ignore it. However, if you experience any of the symptoms, there is a chance of rupture of the cyst. Rupturing of the cyst may cause a life-threatening immune system response called sepsis. Hence, visiting a doctor when you experience any symptoms is important.

How is it diagnosed?

An ovarian cyst is diagnosed by the doctor using a:

  • Pelvic exam

  • Ultrasound to confirm the cyst

Dietary Restrictions

After the surgery, you should avoid foods that make you resistant. You should try to have a diet which has:

  • High fibre food

  • Lean proteins like fish, egg, and chicken

  • Anti-inflammatory foods and spices, including tomatoes, turmeric, etc

Treatment for Ovarian Cyst

Harmless ovarian cysts can be ignored. However, if the doctor recommends that the cyst needs to be removed, you’ll need to undergo surgery for it.

Types of treatments:

SpecificsLaparoscopic SurgeryLaparotomy
InvasiveLessHigh
Incision1-2 inchLarge incision
Recovery timeWithin a week1-2 weeks
PainLessMore
Risk of infectionLowHigh

Laparoscopic Surgery

In this procedure, the cyst is removed through a small incision near the navel.

Flow of the procedure:

  • Patient is given general anaesthesia for the procedure

  • A small incision is made near the navel

  • Using small laparoscopic instruments, the cyst is removed through the incision

  • The incision is taped or sutured and the patient is taken to the recovery room

  • The cyst is immediately tested for cancer

  • If the cyst is found to be cancerous, the ovaries are also removed.

Recovery Time and Dietary Advice:

  • Hospital stay is not required

  • You will need to visit the doctor to check on the stitches are a few days

  • Resume to normal routine after 1-2 weeks

  • Nutritious, fibre rich and well-balanced diet is advised

Risks involved in the treatment:

There are very less complications through this treatment. Some of the risks may be:

  • Infections

  • Redness, swelling, bleeding from the incision site

  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge

Laparotomy

In this procedure, a large incision is made in the abdomen to remove the cyst.

Flow of the procedure:

  • Patient is given general anaesthesia for the procedure

  • A large incision is made in the abdomen

  • The cyst is removed through the incision

  • The incision is sutured and the patient is taken to the recovery room

  • The cyst is immediately tested for cancer

  • If the cyst is found to be cancerous, the ovaries are also removed.

Recovery Time and Dietary Advice:

  • 2- 4 days hospital stay with mild pain

  • Resume to normal routine after 4-6 weeks

  • Nutritious, fibre rich and well-balanced diet is advised

Risks involved in the treatment:

Some of the risks of the surgery may be:

  • Allergic or adverse reaction to anaesthesia or other drugs

  • Bleeding

  • Infection

  • Injury to bowel or bladder

  • Severe pain