Many ovarian cysts are harmless but if they are causing you pain your doctors will recommend they are removed through surgery.
The procedure is relatively straightforward and takes around 45 minutes. Most women go home on the day of the operation, which is usually performed under a general anaesthetic.
Ovarian cysts are often harmless and don’t cause any pain or discomfort.
However some cysts, which are fluid filled packets in, or on, an ovary, can become painful and can be removed through surgery.
During an operation one or more such cysts can be removed (a cystectomy) while leaving the ovary intact. You will probably have a general anaesthetic so you’ll be asleep during the operation. It’s likely you’ll be able to go home the same day.
If you decide to have your treatment with us, you will be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.
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You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
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Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
We understand that having any operation can cause anxiety. Our experienced and caring medical staff will be there to reassure you throughout.
You’ll probably have a general anaesthetic so you’ll be asleep throughout the actual operation.
There are two main types of ovarian cyst operation – conventional “open” surgery or a “keyhole” procedure (also known as a laparoscopy).
With the first type, your surgeon will make a cut either horizontally just above the public bone (along the bikini line) or vertically from just below the belly button. Your surgeon will open the ovary and remove the cyst. Stitches or staples will be used to close the cut.
Sometimes the surgeon may remove the entire ovary so it can be sent for testing but this will have been discussed with you at your initial consultation.
If a surgeon uses the keyhole technique, they will make two or more small cuts in your tummy. They will insert a small thin tube with a camera at the end (a laparoscope) into one of the cuts to view the womb and use thin surgical instruments inserted through the other cut or cuts to remove the cyst.
With either technique the surgery typically lasts around one hour.
It’s likely you’ll be able to go home on the same day, particularly if you had keyhole surgery, but you’ll need a friend or relative to take you home as you’ll be drowsy after the anaesthetic.
After the surgery, you will be taken from the operating theatre to a recovery room, where you will come round from the anaesthesia under close supervision.
You will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.
You will feel some pain in the stomach for a day or two but we will provide you with a supply of all the medicines your consultant feels you need to take home with you after you've left hospital, up to 14 days. This may be at an additional cost to some patients.
It will probably take you around a fortnight to fully recover from the operation if you had a keyhole procedure and six to eight weeks if you had open surgery.
Once you’re ready to be discharged from hospital, you’ll need to arrange a taxi, friend or family member to take you home. If you live alone you might want to ask a friend or relative to help with more strenuous household chores and shopping.
Even after you’ve left hospital, we’re still looking after you every step of the way.
We’ll provide you with all the appropriate medication and advice. You will be given a date for a follow-up appointment with your surgeon. This will usually be four to six weeks later.
On rare occasions, complications can occur after an ovarian cyst removal. If you experience any of these symptoms – prolonged heavy bleeding, a fever or high temperature, a swollen belly, severe pain that is not improved by painkillers - call us straight away. We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.
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The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
Spire Harpenden Hospital is only able to provide Covid-19 tests to patients undergoing surgery at our hospital. Covid-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service.