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Most of cysts on the ovary can go away by themselves – these cysts will resolve after a few weeks and do not need any treatment.
However, some cysts are pathological – they do no resolve spontaneously. These cysts need to be removed with surgery.
Cysts need to be removed when:
Removing the cysts can prevent complications of the cysts in the future. These complications include rupture, infection, internal bleeding, or ovarian torsion. When complication occurs, women may have severe acute pain and an emergency surgery will be needed.
Additionally, once the cysts are removed, they can be sent for pathology to make sure that there is no cancerous tissue.
Ovarian cysts are removed with a surgery called cystectomy. In cystectomy, only the cyst is removed, preserving the healthy ovarian tissues. We perform most of our cystectomy using minimally invasive techniques – laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy.
In laparoscopic surgery, a few tiny incisions (typically 0.5-1cm) are made on abdominal skin. Through these tiny incisions, our surgeon put in a slender, high-definition telescope (laparoscope) to confirm the presence of ovarian cyst. At the same time, the surgeon also carefully checks the condition of other pelvic organs, including the other ovary.
Next, laparoscopic instruments are introduced to remove the cyst from the ovary. These fine, special devices will enable the surgeon to perform precise minimally invasive surgery. Finally, the cyst will be taken out of the body with dedicated techniques, such as using a specially designed bag.
Compared to traditional open abdominal surgery, minimally invasive surgery causes less trauma to the body. Recovery is much faster. Patients can often get up within a few hours of surgery, and move around without major difficulty on the next day. Hospital day is reduced. Most of our patients go come on the next one or two days, some even on the same day of surgery, depending on the complexity and extent of the surgery. Normal activities can be resumed much earlier than open surgery, usually in one to two weeks’ time.
In some cases, the entire ovary may need to be removed, for example, when the cyst is very large and has destroyed the ovary. Because of new advances in laparoscopic instruments and techniques, the entire ovary can be removed with minimally invasive surgery as well. Surgical removal of the ovary is called oophorectomy.
Women are normally born with two ovaries. If the other ovary is healthy and preserved, it will still function to maintain normal hormone cycles and ovulation for potential conception and pregnancies in the future, even after the diseased ovary is removed.
For women after menopause, the gynaecologist may recommend removal of both ovaries in the same operation. This will completely eliminate the risk of re-growth of the cysts or ovarian cancer in the future.
31 Bertram Street
Chatswood NSW 2067
1300 885 803
02 9475 0028
Dr. Sarah Choi