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
By Amy Engeler
At 3 a.m., with all the houses dark up and down her winding suburban street in West Warwick, Rhode Island, Jo-Ann Frey, 37, lights a candle so she can see well enough to dust her furniture. Careful not to turn on any lights or make noise that might wake up her family, she drifts from room to room with her candle and cleaning supplies, waiting until she feels sleepy enough to climb back into bed. That feeling doesn't come -- and when she hears the alarm in the bedroom go off...
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.