Ovarian Cyst Removal—Laparoscopic Surgery
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Ovarian cyst removal is surgery to remove one or more cysts from one or both 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.
Reasons for Procedure
An ovarian cyst may need to be removed if it is:
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:
General anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep.
Description of the Procedure
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. Carbon dioxide gas will be pumped into the abdomen to allow the doctor to view the organs better. The laparoscope will be used to locate the cyst. When it is found, one or two more incisions will be made. Small tools will be inserted through them. The cyst wil be removed. Tissue may be removed for testing. If cancer is found, both ovaries may need to be removed. The instruments will be removed. The incision area will be closed with stitches or staples. Bandages will be placed over the area.
The doctor may need to switch to open surgery if the procedure cannot be done laparoscopically. During an open surgery, a larger incision will be made in the abdomen to do the surgery.
How Long Will It Take?
1 to 2 hours
Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
Most people can go home the next day. If there are any problems, you may need to stay longer.
Some pain is common in the first few days. Medicine and home care help.
Right after the procedure, the staff may:
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to lower your risk of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to lower your risk of infection, such as:
It will take up to 2 weeks to fully heal. Physical activity will be limited during this time. Sex will need to be avoided. Ask for help with daily activities and delay your return to work.
Call Your Doctor
Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help 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. Accessed August 26, 2021.
Ovarian cysts. Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at:
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Accessed August 26, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardBeverly Siegal, MD, FACOG
Last Updated: 8/26/2021
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