Ovarian Cystectomy

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs which develop around the ovaries. They are relatively common, rarely malignant (cancerous) and frequently disappear on their own without treatment. However, large or persistent ovarian cysts, or those that cause unwanted symptoms, may need to be surgically removed.

Common questions

What is an ovarian cystectomy?

An ovarian cystectomy is a procedure to removes cysts from the ovary. 

An ovarian cystectomy is usually carried out as ‘keyhole’ surgery (laparoscopy). A cyst may be removed during a biopsy carried out to test whether or not the cyst is cancerous - the removed tissue will be examined in a laboratory after the operation.

Why would I have an ovarian cystectomy?

You might have an ovarian cystectomy if you have ovarian cysts. They are relatively common, rarely malignant (cancerous) and frequently disappear on their own without treatment. However, large or persistent ovarian cysts, or those that cause unwanted symptoms, may need to be surgically removed. Surgery to remove ovarian cysts may be recommended if the cyst causes pain, or if it’s very large (in which case it may press on the bladder or other organs), or if it is thought a cyst could be cancerous.

What happens during an ovarian cystectomy?

A cystectomy is usually carried out as day surgery, which means you’ll be able to return home on the same day, but you won’t be able to drive yourself.

The procedure will be carried out under a general anaesthetic so you’ll be asleep during the operation. An ovarian cystectomy can be carried out in two different ways; laparoscopically or by open surgery (laparotomy).

What should I expect after an ovarian cystectomy?

After the removal of your ovarian cyst, you’ll feel some pain or discomfort which we’ll help manage with painkillers.

Following a laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) you'll need to rest and avoid strenuous activities for a couple weeks. Laparotomy recovery takes a bit longer, usually between six and eight weeks.

If any tissue is sent for analysis, we’ll let you have the results as soon as they’re available - usually after a couple of weeks. We’ll also discuss the need for any further treatment, if required.

Contact Benenden Hospital

It’s easy to make an appointment; you can ask your GP or give us a call on 01580 230661.