Ovarian cyst removal is surgery to remove a cyst or cysts from 1 or both of your ovaries. A laparoscopic surgery uses small incisions and specialized tools. It may offer faster recovery times than open surgery, which uses a larger abdominal incision.
An ovarian cyst may need to be removed if it is:
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have an ovarian cyst removed, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:
The following may also increase your risk of complications:
Your doctor may do the following:
Talk to your doctor about what action should be taken if cancer is found during surgery. One option is to remove the ovary.
Leading up to the surgery:
General anesthesia will be used. It will block pain and keep you asleep through the surgery. It will be given through an IV in your hand or arm.
A small incision will be made just below the navel. Next, a laparoscope will be inserted. This is a thin tube with a camera on the end. To allow the doctor to better view the organs, carbon dioxide gas will be pumped into the abdomen. The laparoscope will be used to locate the cyst. When it is found, 1 or 2 more incisions will be made. Surgical instruments will be inserted to remove the cyst. Tissue may be removed for testing. If cancer is found, both ovaries may need to be removed. After the cyst is removed, the instruments will be removed. The incision area will be closed with stitches or staples.
In some cases, the doctor may switch to an open surgery. During an open surgery, a larger incision will be made in the abdomen to do the surgery.
After the procedure, you will be given IV fluids and medications while recovering.
There will be pain after the surgery. You will be given pain medication.
You may stay overnight, or you may be able to leave the hospital the same day as your surgery.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chances of infection such as:
Recovery may take 1-2 weeks.
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services
Women's Health Matters
Ovarian cyst. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/ovarian-cyst/. Updated April 2014. Accessed December 13, 2017.
Ovarian cysts. Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/ovarian-cysts.html. Updated April 28, 2017. Accessed December 13, 2017.
Last reviewed November 2018 by Beverly Siegal, MD, FACOG Last Updated: 12/20/2014