Laparoscopic Removal of Ovarian Cyst

What are ovarian cysts?

Ovarian cysts are non-cancerous sacs filled with fluid, which develop in ovaries. They are formed when the follicle that contains egg fails to break and release the egg out of the ovary, resulting in accumulation of fluid in the follicle.

Why does one get ovarian cysts?

Some of risk factors for cyst formation include heredity, early menstruation, irregular menstrual cycles, excessive upper body fat distribution and hormonal imbalance. If there is more than one cyst present inside the ovary, the condition is called as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

What are the symptoms associated with ovarian cysts?

Ovarian cysts usually do not cause any symptoms, but you must visit your doctor if you observe swelling or bloating of the abdomen, pain during bowel movements, pelvic pain, severe pain leading to nausea and vomiting, and pain in the pelvic region before or after the menstrual period begins.

How are ovarian cysts treated?

Some cysts will disappear by themselves, while large cysts will require treatment. Treatment options include non-surgical and surgical methods. Nonsurgical treatment includes:

  • Birth control pills help to decrease formation of new cysts and prevent the formation of eggs that will become cysts.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen helps to relieve pain.

Surgery will be recommended to remove the cyst or ovary if medications do not help or cysts are 5 to 10 cm in diameter. Different types of surgeries to remove the cysts include laparoscopic surgery or laparotomy.

How is laparoscopic surgery performed?

Laparoscopic surgical removal is recommended if the cysts are smaller and noncancerous. During the procedure, a tiny incision is made in the lower abdomen near the navel and carbon dioxide gas is administered to enlarge the area, as this provides more space for surgery. Then, a laparoscope is inserted through the incision. The camera and lens at one end of the laparoscope helps your surgeon view the inside of the body. One or two more tiny incisions are made around the first incision to insert the surgical instruments. The cyst is then removed intact or through suction, followed by excision or ablation of the cyst wall.

When is laparotomy indicated?

In case of larger and cancerous cysts, the cysts are removed along with the surrounding organs, such as the ovary and uterus, through a larger incision, a procedure called laparotomy.