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Ovarian Cancer Health Center

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Surgery

Surgery is the main treatment for ovarian cancer.

Surgery choices

  • A total hysterectomy. This surgery removes the uterus and the cervix.
  • A unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. This surgery removes one ovary and one fallopian tube.
  • A bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. This surgery removes both ovaries and both fallopian tubes.
  • An omentectomy. This surgery removes the fatty tissue (omentum) attached to some of the organs in the belly. It's done to see if the cancer has spread.
  • A lymph node biopsy. Nearby lymph nodes are removed and checked for cancer cells.

If you have very early-stage ovarian cancer and wish to have children, discuss your choices with your doctor.

What to think about

Having an experienced gynecologic oncologist will help you get the best possible treatment and live longer than having a doctor who doesn't have as much experience treating ovarian cancer.5

Side effects from your surgery can include trouble urinating or problems with your bowels, such as constipation or diarrhea. Your ability to have or enjoy sexual intercourse may also be affected.

If your ovaries are removed, you may have symptoms of menopause. Talk with your doctor about treatment to manage these symptoms.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 22, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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