Surgery may be needed to confirm the
diagnosis of an
ovarian cyst or to evaluate ovarian growths when
ovarian cancer is possible. Surgery does not prevent
ovarian cysts from coming back unless the ovaries are removed
Surgery may be needed in the following
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Laparoscopy may be used to confirm the diagnosis of
an ovarian cyst in a woman of childbearing age. Persistent, large, or painful
ovarian cysts that have no signs of cancer risk can be removed during
laparoscopy, leaving the ovary intact.
Laparotomy is used when an
ovarian cyst is very large, ovarian cancer is suspected, or other problems with
the abdominal or pelvic organs are present. If cancer is found, the larger
incision lets the surgeon closely examine the entire area and more safely
remove all cancerous growth.
What to think about
For the most part, functional
ovarian cysts stop forming when
menopause occurs (in rare cases, a functional ovarian
cyst will occur or persist within 5 years of menopause). Relieving symptoms
with medicine until menopause is complete may be an option.
women prefer the risks of surgery to symptoms that reduce their quality of
life. If your doctor recommends surgery, ask whether
laparoscopic surgery or laparotomy would be the best
choice for you.
Unless the ovaries are removed, surgery does not
prevent the formation of new functional ovarian cysts.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this