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Women have two small ovaries on either side of their uterus. At times, cysts – fluid-filled sacs - may develop on the ovaries. Most cysts will dissolve on their own; others are more troublesome and may cause pain. 

The different types of cysts include:

  • Follicular cyst develops each month during ovulation. The sac normally ruptures to release the egg; however in some cases, the sac does not break, resulting in a cyst. Normally, this type of cyst disappears on its own in one to three months.
  • Corpus luteum cyst also form each month after the egg is released. This cyst can grow large and may cause some bleeding and pain.
  • Benign or malignant tumors can also grow on the ovaries. 

Some cysts may be complex and contain solid material, be completely solid or have walls within the cysts.  Since there is also a risk for these more complex cysts to be cancer, surgery is required to make an accurate diagnosis.

When do you need surgery?

Since most cysts go away on their own, women usually do not have to have them removed; however some more persistent cysts can twist on its root, which is called torsion. When this occurs, it traps the blood and stops it from going to the ovary. Cyst torsion may cause intense abdominal pain, nausea and sometimes pass out. When this occurs, the cyst can be removed using laparoscopic surgery that leaves the rest of the ovary in place.

Laparoscopic Ovarian Cyst Removal Surgery

Using small, camera-guided tools, the gynecologist will make a tiny incision close to the navel. The laparoscope includes a light on the end and a camera that transmits the pictures to a monitor so the surgeon can view the problem area and perform surgery. Carbon dioxide gas is normally pumped to the abdomen, so that the organs are more visible and accessible. Additionally, two or three additional small openings are made to insert instruments that will be used to remove the cyst.

Strenuous activity or heavy-lifting should be avoided for the first couple of weeks. Nearly all woman report that they feel fully recuperated after a month.

Most patients will go home the same day, but an overnight stay may be required for some patients. Patients should expect to recover within one to two weeks.

Learn What to Expect from Ovarian Cyst Removal