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What is Involved in Laparoscopy for an Ovarian Cyst?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive type of surgical procedure that involves the use of surgical instruments, small incisions, and a small video camera that allows a doctor to see inside the body to perform surgery without making a large incision. When a patient undergoes laparoscopy for an ovarian cyst, a surgeon inserts special instruments through small incisions in order to see the ovarian cyst to remove it. Laparoscopic surgery is often the preferred option for removing cysts because it is associated with less discomfort, fewer scars, and shorter recovery times than typical open surgery procedures.

Though laparoscopy for an ovarian cyst is a surgical procedure, it doesn’t usually require a person to stay overnight in a hospital. In most cases, it is performed as an outpatient procedure, and the patient can go home soon after it is over. A patient won’t typically experience pain during a laparoscopy for an ovarian cyst since it is usually performed while she is under general anesthesia. She will typically experience some discomfort during the recovery process, however.

To perform a laparoscopy for an ovarian cyst, a surgeon usually makes several small cuts in a woman’s abdomen. He then inserts surgical instruments and a tiny camera called a laparoscope through the small abdominal cuts. The laparoscope allows the surgeon to see inside the patient’s abdomen while he performs the operation by viewing images displayed on a nearby monitor. He then uses surgical instruments to remove the cyst from the woman’s ovary. He may also take a sample of cells from the cyst and send it to a lab; the lab examines the sample to determine whether or not cancerous cells are present.

When a woman undergoes laparoscopy for an ovarian cyst, it is sometimes necessary to remove more than just the cyst. Sometimes a surgeon must remove a section of a woman’s ovary or the entire ovary as well. In some cases, a surgeon may use stitches to close the cuts made in the patient’s ovary. In others, the cuts may be allowed to heal without stitches. Finally, a surgeon closes the patient’s abdominal incisions to complete the surgery.

After a laparoscopy for an ovarian cyst, a patient typically has to avoid strenuous activity for about two weeks. Her doctor may also advise her to avoid sexual activity during this time. In most cases, however, recovery from laparoscopic surgery is faster than recovery from open surgery.

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Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By SarahGen — On Oct 25, 2013

@fify-- I doubt you'll get scar tissue. I have three incision scars from my laparoscopy. The largest one is barely two centimeters. The other two are barely visible.

By turquoise — On Oct 25, 2013

@fify-- I think two weeks of recovery for a laparoscopy is underestimated. I don't know if there are people who healed in such a short time. It took me about three weeks to recover from my laparoscopy. I was still a little bit sore in the fourth week but I had no problem going back to work.

Recovery might depend on how long you had the cyst for and if you have other ailments. I had my ovarian cyst for almost six months before surgery and I had chronic pain, fatigue and swelling because of it. I think my recovery took longer because the cyst was large.

A laparoscopy is a better option than open surgery if you're only having the cyst removed. If a laparoscopy increases the risk of a ruptured ovarian cyst or if you also need to have an ovary removed, you will need to get open surgery.

By fify — On Oct 24, 2013

So recovery from a laparoscopy only takes two weeks?

I heard that recovery from an open surgery to remove an ovarian cyst takes about nine weeks. So I'd prefer to get a laparoscopy and I think this is what my doctor will recommend.

Has anyone here had a laparoscopy for an ovarian cyst? Did you have any complications? And was there scar tissue?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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