Ovarian Cancer Surgery

Surgery is a common treatment option for ovarian cancer. The type of surgery recommended will depend on the extent of the cancer and the woman's plans for having children. Side effects and risks of surgery for ovarian cancer can include short-term pain and tenderness in the area of the operation, difficulty emptying the bladder and having bowel movements, infertility, and menopause.

 

Ovarian Cancer Surgery: An Overview

Ovarian cancer treatment will depend on a number of factors, including the stage of ovarian cancer (see Ovarian Cancer Stages) and the general health of the patient.
 
Many different ovarian cancer treatment options and combinations of treatments are available, including:
 
  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Clinical trials.
 
Ovarian cancer surgery is the usual initial treatment for most women.
 

Types of Surgery for Ovarian Cancer

There are several types of surgery for ovarian cancer. The type of surgery recommended will depend on the extent of the ovarian cancer and the woman's plans for having children. Examples of this type of surgery may include:
 
  • Unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: A surgical procedure to remove one ovary and one fallopian tube.
 
  • Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: A surgical procedure to remove both ovaries and both fallopian tubes.
 
  • Total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the uterus, cervix, and both ovaries and fallopian tubes. If the uterus and cervix are taken out through the vagina, the operation is called a vaginal hysterectomy. If the uterus and cervix are taken out through a large incision (cut) in the abdomen, the operation is called a total abdominal hysterectomy. If the uterus and cervix are taken out through a small incision in the abdomen using a laparoscope, the operation is called a total laparoscopic hysterectomy.
 
  • Partial oophorectomy: A surgical procedure to remove part of one ovary or part of both ovaries.
 
  • Omentectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the omentum (a piece of the tissue lining the abdominal wall).
 
  • Tumor debulking: A surgical procedure in which as much of the tumor as possible is removed. Some tumors may not be able to be completely removed.
 
  • Lymph node biopsy: Ovarian cancer staging during surgery (to find out whether the cancer has spread) generally involves removing lymph nodes
 
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