An ovarian cystectomy is surgery to remove a cyst from the ovary. Laparoscopic surgery method is minimally invasive and uses a few small incisions on the lower abdomen for the procedure. The majority of benign ovarian cystectomies can be performed laparoscopically. The goal of a laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy is to have minimal blood loss, to perform this surgery in the most efficient way and to preserve ovarian tissue.
Why is a Laparoscopic Cystectomy performed?
Many women will have an ovarian cyst at some point during their lives. In the majority of cases these cysts cause little to no symptoms. However, for large or persistent ovarian cysts, cysts that are causing pain or discomfort, and for cysts that could be malignant or could become malignant, surgical removal may be the best treatment option. Some symptoms of an ovarian cyst include pelvic pain, especially during the woman’s period and can lead to painful intercourse.
How do you prepare for Laparoscopic Cystectomy?
During the pre-procedure consultation the Viva Eve surgeon will discuss the following:
- Anesthesia options and any allergies you may have
- Current medications, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before surgery
- Fasting before surgery, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
- Arranging for someone to pick you up after surgery
What can you expect during a Laparoscopic Cystectomy?
This operation is performed under general anesthesia. A laparoscope – a thin tube with a camera on the end – is inserted into the abdomen, usually at the sight of the navel, through a small incision. Additional incisions are made in the abdomen. The abdomen is inflated to allow the surgeon to see inside. A scope with a light and camera is placed through the incision and images are sent to a nearby screen.
With the aid of images projected on a video monitor the surgeon removes the cyst through the small incision in the abdomen.
Viva Eve’s gynecologic surgeons always advise patients at their preop consultation that during the procedure they may discover the need to remove the ovary. If the cyst is particularly large, or there’s a chance it could be cancerous, a laparotomy may be recommended. During a laparotomy, a single, larger cut is made in the abdomen to give the surgeon better access to the cyst.
What is the follow up and recovery like for a Laparoscopic Cystectomy?
Recovery after cystectomy depends on each patient’s individual situation, including the reason for the surgery and how it was performed. After this surgery, some patients are able to go home the same day and some need to stay at the hospital overnight. Laparoscopic cystectomy usually offers quicker recovery, less pain and a shorter hospital stay. Most patients can return to full activity in two to four weeks after surgery.
What should I expect during recovery?
It is normal for the navel and abdomen area to be sore and possibly bruised after the procedure. Patients may feel discomfort in their shoulders and back from the gas placed in the abdomen during the procedure. Some patients may have some vaginal discharge or spotting after surgery.
If bandages were used to cover up the incisions, they can be removed 24 hours after surgery, and the adhesive or stitches will dissolve on their own. Patients may shower but are advised not to have baths or go swimming for about 2 weeks after the surgery.
Patients should take it easy the first week, and then gradually increase their activity level with short walks and light activity. They should avoid lifting heavy objects or doing strenuous exercise until their Viva Eve doctor clears them for such activities. Sexual activity can resume when the patient feels comfortable, and when the physician says it’s OK.
What are the potential risks for a Laparoscopic Cystectomy?
The risks for laparoscopic cystectomy surgery are similar to most other surgical operations. They include wound healing, bleeding, infection, and seroma (fluid collection) formation. Laparoscopic method greatly reduces the risk of those complications. Viva Eve’s surgeons will ensure that the recovery goes smoothly and if you follow the detailed postoperative instructions, you should heal quickly.