Surgery on ovaries and fallopian tubes may be necessary if there are abnormalities such as ovarian cysts or symptoms related to them. Sometimes it is necessary to perform surgery to remove a cyst even if there are no symptoms, either to prevent cancer developing or to confirm diagnosis. It is not always possible to tell what type of cyst is present without looking at it under a microscope.
Where a cyst is large, persistent, causing uncomfortable or painful problems, or appears cancerous, your specialist may recommend undergoing surgery to remove the cyst or in some cases, the whole ovary. There are two methods of surgery:
- Laparoscopy (keyhole surgery): Laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy or laparoscopic salpingo-oophorectomy
- Laparotomy (abdominal surgery)
In the vast majority of cases, the operation is done via laparoscopic keyhole surgery.
This is an operation performed through a keyhole incision. This is our preferred approach, because it causes less pain and allows the patient to return to normal activity sooner.
This operation takes about 30–60 minutes, depending on the size and type of the cyst. Most women are able to go home the same day.
Minimally invasive keyhole surgery avoids the need for a large incision and has the advantage of reduced hospital stays, quicker recovery times and an easy return to normal life.
Where a cyst is exceptionally large or there is a high chance that it could be cancerous, a laparotomy might be the best surgical option.
During a laparotomy, a single, large incision is made in the abdomen to allow the surgeon to have easy access to the cyst. From here, the entire cyst or, in some case, the ovary, is removed and sent off to a laboratory for testing. Once complete, stitches or staples are used to close the cut.
This procedure usually requires a hospital stay following the operation.