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Discharge Instructions for Ovarian Cyst Removal

Ovarian cyst removal is surgery to take out a cyst that forms on the ovary.

It can take up to 6 weeks to fully heal. Home care and medicine can help.

Steps to Take

Home Care

Do not put anything into your vagina, such as tampons.

To lower the risk of infection:

  • Clean incisions as you were taught by your care team.
  • Wash your hands before and after cleaning incisions or changing the bandages.
  • Keep the area clean and dry.
  • You can shower, bathe, or soak in water when the doctor has said it is safe to do so.

Physical Activity

You will need to limit activity for 2 to 6 weeks. You can slowly go back to activities when your care team has said it is safe. As you heal:

  • Do not lift things that are heavy or do any hard physical activity until your doctor has said it is okay.
  • Do not have sex until the doctor has said it is safe.
  • Go back to work when the doctor has said it is okay.
  • Do not drive until your doctor has said it is safe to do so.


Medicine may be given to ease pain.

If you are taking medicine:

  • Take your medicine as advised. Do not change the amount or schedule.
  • Be aware of the side effects of your medicine. Tell your doctor if you have any.
  • Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any prescription medicine.
  • Do not share your prescription medicine.
  • Medicines can be harmful when mixed. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than 1, including over the counter products and supplements.


Your doctor may want to check on your progress. Go to all appointments.

Call Your Doctor If Any of the Following Occur

Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:

  • Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, more pain, a lot of bleeding, or discharge from the incision
  • Pain that you cannot control with medicine
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches, muscle aches, or lightheadedness
  • Belly swelling
  • Problems passing urine or stool
  • Pain or swelling in 1 or both legs

If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.


The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Office on Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services


BC HealthGuide

Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada


Benign ovarian cysts. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/gynecology_obstetrics/specialty_areas/gynecological_services/conditions/ovarian_cysts.html. Accessed June 20, 2019.

Benign ovarian masses. The Merck Manual Professional Edition website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology_and_obstetrics/benign_gynecologic_lesions/benign_ovarian_masses.html. Updated May 2019. Accessed June 20, 2019.

Ovarian cysts. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at:https://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Updated October 27, 2017. Accessed June 20, 2019.

Last reviewed June 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardBeverly Siegal, MD, FACOG  Last Updated: 11/15/2019