What is Involved Ovarian Cyst Surgery?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2019
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Most ovarian cysts go away on their own, and thus do not need surgery. The ones that do require surgical removal are usually large, cancerous, extremely painful, or solid. During the surgery, an incision will be made, the cyst will be removed, and tissue will be tested if cancer is suspected. Either staples or stitches will be used to close the area, and pain medication will be offered to treat the abdominal discomfort that usually comes with this treatment. While ovarian cyst surgery usually only takes a couple hours, the hospital stay is typically at least three days, followed by a recovery period of up to four weeks.

This kind of treatment for ovarian cysts is usually a last resort, as there are risks that come with any surgery, though they are still quite rare. It is possible for patients to experience complications like excessive bleeding, infection, infertility, blood clots, and a need to remove the ovaries, which is why ovarian cyst surgery is not usually the first treatment offered. Before the surgery is scheduled, most doctors perform a physical exam, ultrasound, CT scan, and urine and blood tests, to name a few of the common screenings required. Additionally, blood thinners and anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin should be temporarily discontinued since they may cause an adverse effect after ovarian cyst surgery.


Most doctors use general anesthesia to block the pain of the operation, and then proceed by cutting into the abdomen. The muscles in the area are first separated, and the blood vessels are then moved out of the way so that the doctor can remove the cyst. If cancer is suspected, some tissue can also be removed at this time so that it can be tested. The abdominal muscles are then usually stitched up, and the initial incision is typically shut with either staples or stitches. Finally, fluids and medications are administered intravenously directly after the ovarian cyst surgery.

Though the abdominal pain should disappear within about ten days, the recovery period can take up to four weeks. During this time, the incision should be regularly cleaned with soap and water, and the legs should be carefully moved as usual to help prevent blood clots. In most cases, patients can return to their typical routine when they feel up to it, though strenuous activity should be avoided for up to six weeks. Most doctors inform their patients when they are fully healed from ovarian cyst surgery and can return to their usual activities.


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Post 3

@donasmrs-- I completely agree with you about looking forward to surgery. I was in the same exact situation because of a complex ovarian cyst. It was taking over my life and it was a huge relief to have it removed.

I heard that recovery from a laparoscopy is fast. I couldn't get a laparoscopy because the doctor feared that he would cause my cyst to rupture. So I had regular surgery. My recovery took about nine weeks and I was away from work for a while. But overall, it wasn't too bad. I was on pain relievers all the time during the first week of recovery. After the first week, I only took them as necessary.

Post 2

burcinc-- I had an ovarian cyst removed a few years back. It's not as scary as it sounds, especially if you have a laparoscopy.

I wish my ovarian cyst had gone away on its own, but unfortunately, it didn't. It kept getting bigger and bigger. It was over 8cm when it was removed. I was actually looking forward to surgery because of my ovarian cyst symptoms. I had a lot of pain and swelling. I was starting to look pregnant and I couldn't do daily chores from the pain and soreness. The discomfort I had after my cyst surgery was nothing compared to my pain before.

Post 1

I might have to have ovarian cyst surgery. I'm hoping that it won't be necessary. I'm scared of surgery and I don't want t be in pain. Has anyone here had ovarian cyst removal surgery? How was it?

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