Ovarian Cyst Surgery: Everything You Need to Know (2023)

While mostovarian cystsIf the blisters go away on their own, some of these fluid-filled blisters may need to be surgically removed. patients with largeovarian cystsPainful symptoms or suspicious imaging may be recommended for ovarian cyst surgery.

Ovarian cyst surgery is the removal of cysts from the ovaries, either through small incisions (laparoscopic) or a larger incision (laparotomy) in the abdomen. Recovery time depends on the surgery you had and can range from a week to months.

In this article, you will learn more about how to prepare for these procedures, what they entail, and what the risks and complications are.

Ovarian Cyst Surgery: Everything You Need to Know (1)

What is an ovarian cyst?

ovarian cystsare fluid-filled sacs that can develop on or in an ovary. They usually develop during a person's reproductive years, but in rare cases they can appear after menopause. There are several types, the most common of which is functional cysts, which form during ovulation.

Ovarian cysts usually don't cause any symptoms, but sometimes they can cause a dull ache, pressure, or bloating in the abdomen.

Although most ovarian cysts go away on their own, sometimes surgery is needed to treat ovarian cysts. A healthcare provider may recommend surgery if:

  • Your cyst will not go away even after a few menstrual cycles.
  • Your cyst is extremely large or increasing in size.
  • Your cyst could be cancerous.
  • You are close to menopause or are already in menopause.
  • Your cyst ruptures.

Preparing for surgery

Surgery can be considered an elective procedure and is planned in advance by your doctor's office. Forruptured ovarian cystsBlood and fluid loss can occur, requiring emergency surgery to remove the cyst.

You should plan a few days off from work for the procedure and the recovery period after the operation.

Before the surgery, you may be asked to do the following:

  • Have a detailed list of the medications you are currently taking.
  • Plan a ride home from the hospital with a companion.
  • Please check in at the agreed arrival time to give the preoperative teams enough time to prepare you for the surgery.

You may also be instructed to avoid the following:

  • Eat or drink something after midnight the night before the surgery
  • Drink alcohol and smoke at least a day before the operation


Health care providers generally recommend laparotomy or laparoscopic surgery to remove cysts.


Most cysts are removed using laparoscopy. This is a minimally invasive procedure that is recommended unless the cyst is abnormally large or suspected to be cancerous.

During laparoscopic surgery:

  1. A small incision is made in the abdomen to insert a small camera, and a separate small incision is made for the surgeon to insert an instrument to perform the procedure.
  2. If possible, the cyst is dissected out of the ovary (or the entire ovary may need to be removed).
  3. The cyst tissue is removed from the body.
  4. The surgeon removes the camera and instruments, and then closes the small incisions with small sutures.
  5. Bandages are applied to keep the incisions clean, dry, and intact.

Most patients are discharged after laparoscopic surgery and can resume normal activities within a week.



Laparotomie-Operationmay be done on large cysts that are not easily removed from small incisions or cysts suspected of being cancerous.

A single, larger incision is made in the abdomen to gain access to the cyst. After the procedure is complete, the muscle and skin layers are stitched back together and bandages are applied.

Patients who have undergone laparotomy stay in the hospital for two to four days, and most people return to normal activities after 12 weeks.


Patients usually cannot leave the hospital for long after laparoscopic surgery and can resume normal activities within a week. It is best to rest and relax within 24 hours of surgery. After that, your activities are not restricted as long as you are not taking any narcotics that can make you drowsy. If you are taking narcotics, you should not drive, exercise, or use heavy equipment.

Postoperative symptoms of a laparoscopic repair may include:

  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • shoulder pain
  • Stomach cramps
  • gas or bloating
  • Sore throat if a breathing tube was placed prior to the procedure

With a laparotomy, full recovery can take about three months. It is important to follow your surgeon's post-operative instructions, including:

  • Sticking to your treatment plan can lead to aOpioidMedication followed by Tylenol Paracetamol
  • Lift no more than 5 pounds for six weeks
  • Avoid driving until pedaling is no longer painful and you are off opioid medications
  • Arrange for a family member or friend to help you with household chores

You will have a few follow-up appointments with your surgeon so they can review your incision, remove any sutures or tape, and answer any questions you may have. If the cuts start to bleed or puss out, it's important to contact your surgeon right away as you may be dealing with an infection.

risks and complications

As with any surgery, there are risks associated with removing an ovarian cyst, including:

  • The pain can be uncontrollable
  • Scar tissue (adhesion) may form at the surgical siteovariesor fallopian tubes, or in the pelvis
  • Infection
  • Injury to the bowelBlase
  • Damage to the affected ovary, which can affect fertility

Can ovarian cysts come back after surgery?

The only way to guarantee that ovarian cysts will not recur is to surgically remove the ovaries, which induces menopause (without a menstrual period).The cause of the ovarian cysts will determine whether the cysts can recur.


The goal of ovarian cyst surgery is to remove the cysts that are causing symptoms or causing cancer. Some of the benefits of distance are:

  • Relief of symptoms such as pain, bloating and bleeding
  • Help prevent or treat cancer
  • peace of mind

How Often Do People Need Ovarian Cyst Surgery?

It is estimated that only 5-10% of ovarian cysts need to be surgically removed, and only 13-21% of cysts removed turn out to be cancerous.

What are Nabothian cysts?

Questions to ask your doctor

When a doctor recommends surgery for an ovarian cyst, there are a few questions to ask:

(Video) OVARIAN CYSTS: What Causes Ovarian Cysts?

  • Am I at risk of getting another ovarian cyst in the future?
  • Can surgery complicate pregnancy?
  • What does the procedure involve?
  • How long will I stay in the hospital?
  • How long does recovery take?
  • What are the complications of an operation?
  • What happens if I don't have surgery?
  • How high are the costs?


Ovarian cyst surgery is a procedure to remove ovarian cysts, fluid-filled sacs that form on the ovaries. Your doctor may recommend surgery if your cysts are particularly large, causing problems, or are cancerous.

The operation can be performed using laparoscopy, which is performed with small incisions and a camera. Alternatively, a laparotomy, which involves making an incision in the abdomen to access the cysts, may be done. It can take about a week to recover from a laparoscopy, while it can take up to three months to return to normal daily activities after a laparotomy.

frequently asked Questions

  • Does Ovarian Cyst Surgery Cause Infertility?

    Some ovarian cysts can lead to infertility, such as cysts resulting from endometriosis or PCOS. Functional cysts, cystadenomas, and dermoid cysts are not associated with infertility. Surgical removal of cysts does not affect fertility unless the ovaries themselves are removed (oophorectomy) because the ovaries secrete hormones related to reproduction and pregnancy.

  • How Much Does Ovarian Cyst Surgery Cost?

    Medicare.gov estimates that the procedure for ovarian cyst surgery costs about $2,700 when performed in an outpatient (walk-in) surgery center and about $5,500 for outpatient hospital surgery.Medicare patients would pay $549 for outpatient surgery and $1,110 for outpatient surgery.

Oophorectomy: everything you need to know

5 sources

Verywell Health uses only quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to back up the facts in our articles. Read ourseditorial processLearn more about how we fact-check and ensure our content is accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Medline plus.ovarian cysts.

  2. Boston Center for Endometriosis.After your laparoscopy.

  3. University of Michigan Health.Surgery for ovarian cysts.

  4. Office of Women's Health.ovarian cysts.

  5. Medicare.Ovarian cystectomy, unilateral or bilateral.

Ovarian Cyst Surgery: Everything You Need to Know (2)

TypeBlyss Splane
Blyss Splane is a board-certified operating room nurse working freelance content writer and former traveling nurse. When she's not spending time with her husband and dog, she works as a freelance content writer for health blogs.

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What to expect after ovarian cyst removal surgery? ›

Expect some soreness around the surgical site during the first 24 to 48 hours following surgery. Walking is encouraged, based on your energy level. This surgery has a quick recovery with most patients feeling much better within the first few days after surgery.

How do you prepare for ovarian cyst surgery? ›

Preparing for Surgery

You should expect to take a few days off from work for the procedure and for the recovery period after the surgery. Before the surgery, you may be told to do the following: Provide a thorough list of current medications you're using. Schedule a ride home from the hospital with a support person.

How long does ovarian cyst surgery take to heal? ›

Recovery and Outlook

If you have a laparoscopic cystectomy, recovery time is about one to three weeks. After one to two weeks you may be able to resume your usual activities, such as returning to work. You may be able to begin light physical activities.

What are the do's and don'ts after ovarian cyst surgery? ›

In general, most patients will go back to work within a week and resume vigorous physical activity such as running within two weeks. If you've undergone open surgery, you'll need to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for six weeks.

Will I lose weight after ovarian cyst removal? ›

Weight loss is not a side effect of a hysterectomy – or even hysterectomy with ovary removal.

How long will I be off work after laparoscopy for ovarian cyst? ›

Ovarian Cyst Removal Recovery Time

After laparoscopic surgery, most patients will go back to work within a week and resume vigorous physical activity, like running, within two weeks. If you've undergone open surgery, you'll need to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for six weeks.

Can I drive home after ovarian cyst removal? ›

Depending on the type of procedure performed, most patients can return to their normal activities within 1-2 weeks after their laparoscopy. Typically patients may return to driving 1-2 weeks after their procedure.

Are you awake for ovarian cyst surgery? ›

Before surgery begins, you will be given anesthesia to sleep. A laparoscope – a thin tube with a camera on the end – is inserted into the abdomen, usually at the sight of your navel, through a small incision. Additional incisions will be made on your abdomen.

How do you sleep after ovarian cyst surgery? ›

Sleeping in a semi-upright position is recommended, using a few pillows to elevate the head and shoulders to avoid putting pressure on the abdominal area. Avoid sleeping on your stomach or the side where the incisions were made.

What is the major surgery for ovarian cyst? ›

If your cyst is particularly large, or there's a chance it could be cancerous, a laparotomy may be recommended. During a laparotomy, a single, larger cut is made in your tummy to give the surgeon better access to the cyst. The whole cyst and ovary may be removed and sent to a laboratory to check whether it's cancerous.

How big is an ovarian cyst surgery? ›

Size is also one of several factors that can help determine whether a cyst needs to be surgically removed. Generally speaking, surgery isn't recommended for ovarian cysts unless they're larger than 50 to 60 millimeters (mm) (about 2 to 2.4 inches) in size.

What not to eat after cyst surgery? ›

Generally, avoid high-fat meats, eggs, dairy products, and sugary sweets. According to the National Institute of Aging (NIA), these foods are low in fiber and may lead to constipation.

What can you not do after cyst surgery? ›

For 1 to 2 weeks after surgery on your hand or wrist, avoid activities that involve repeated arm or hand movements. These may include typing, using a computer mouse, vacuuming, or carrying things in the affected hand.

When can I shower after ovarian cyst surgery? ›

If you do need to take these medications, try to eat extra fruit and fibre to reduce the chances of becoming constipated. You should be able to have a shower or bath and remove any dressings 24 hours after your operation.

What should I wear after ovarian cyst surgery? ›

Loose clothing following surgery

Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes during the first few weeks after laparoscopy. The incision site will be tender and the abdomen swollen so try not to aggravate it with tight clothing.

Are you more fertile after ovarian cyst removal? ›

Cystadenomas are those which develop from cells covering the outer layer of the ovary and can be filled with watery liquid or mucous. Both of these types may require surgical removal for ovarian cysts. This surgery should not, however, affect fertility, unless the doctor removes an ovary.

Is ovarian cyst removal surgery risky? ›

What are the risks and/or complications of an ovarian cystectomy? Apart from the risks generally associated with surgery such as bleeding or infection, an ovarian cystectomy may result in scar tissue forming at the surgical site, on the ovaries or fallopian tubes or in the pelvis. Bowel or bladder damage could occur.

Why is day 3 after surgery the worst? ›

Swelling and Bruising.

Tissue injury, whether accidental or intentional (e.g. surgery), is followed by localized swelling. After surgery, swelling increases progressively, reaching its peak by the third day. It is generally worse when you first arise in the morning and decreases throughout the day.

Can I go back to work a day after laparoscopy? ›

Returning to work

If you have had a diagnostic laparoscopy or a simple procedure such as a sterilisation, you can expect to feel able to go back to work within one week. Although you will not be harmed by doing light work just after surgery, it would be unwise to try to do much within the first 48 hours.

How many days of rest is required after laparoscopy? ›

If you've had laparoscopy to diagnose a condition, you'll probably be able to resume your normal activities within 5 days.

How many hours does it take to remove ovarian cyst? ›

Recovery can vary based on the procedure. For laparoscopic ovarian cyst removal, a person typically only requires 2 to 3 hours of monitoring post-procedure. They can then go home and typically require between 1 day and 1 week before returning to work and most activities.

What to do before cyst surgery? ›

How do I prepare for my procedure? Please shower and wash with an antibacterial soap before the procedure. Do not shave the skin around the lipoma or cyst. If you are having sedation, you need to come in with an empty stomach, which means nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours or more.

Do you get intubated for ovarian cyst removal? ›

Endotracheal anesthesia in laparoscopic ovarian cyst surgery is a technique of general anesthesia with endotracheal intubation for the purpose of breathing control during surgery and postoperative recovery.

How long does cyst surgery take? ›

Cyst removal is a straightforward surgical procedure that can be carried out on the scalp, head, face or anywhere. Cyst removal is carried out while you are awake using local anaesthetic injections. Cyst removal usually takes between 20 to 45 minutes.

What not to eat after surgery? ›

There are some foods that can slow down your recovery or increase your risk of complications after surgery. These include alcohol, processed foods, caffeine, and foods that are high in sugar.

Should you rest with ovarian cyst? ›

Usually, a ruptured ovarian cyst isn't a medical emergency. If you experience sudden pelvic or abdominal pain, you can usually manage this at home with over-the-counter pain medication and a warm compress. Resting might also help.

How do you get rid of laparoscopic gas? ›

The most effective way to get rid of carbon dioxide after laparoscopic surgery is to use a vacuum system. This system works by using a tube connected to a vacuum that suctions the gas out of the abdomen. This is the most common method used by surgeons and is considered to be the most effective way to remove the gas.

Are there stitches in the belly button after laparoscopy? ›

You will have between 1 and 4 small cuts on your tummy, one of which is usually in your belly button. They will have been closed with stitches. Most stitches dissolve within 4 weeks.

What can you eat after ovarian cyst surgery? ›

  • If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods such as plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Choose water and other clear liquids. ...
  • You may notice that your bowel movements are not regular right after your surgery. This is common.

What are the 3 types of ovarian cysts? ›

Three types of Ovarian Cysts
  • Physiological or Ovulatory Cysts.
  • Benign Cysts.
  • Malignant Cysts otherwise called Ovarian Cancer.
Jun 15, 2020

What is the main cause of ovarian cyst? ›

Pathological cysts are caused by abnormal cell growth and are not related to the menstrual cycle. They can develop before and after the menopause. Pathological cysts develop from either the cells used to create eggs or the cells that cover the outer part of the ovary.

How long do you bleed after ovarian cyst removal? ›

You may have vaginal bleeding for up to a week after the surgery; this is also normal. You will be given a prescription for pain medicine. Call your caregiver if the medicine is not relieving your pain. The pain medicine may cause you to become constipated or hard for you to have a bowel movement.

How painful is cyst surgery? ›

During a cyst removal, the doctor will mark and numb the area around the bump. You'll get a few Lidocaine injections that may slightly sting, but that's the worst part. After that, you won't feel the procedure.

Is removal of ovarian cyst a major surgery? ›

An ovarian cystectomy is surgery to remove a cyst from your ovary. Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery technique that only uses a few small incisions in your lower abdomen.

How long can you not drive after ovarian cyst removal? ›

If you have had other procedures with the laparoscopy you may need to avoid contact sports and power sports for a few more weeks, although this will depend on your level of fitness before your surgery. You should not drive for 24 hours after a general anaesthetic.

How long does it take for hormones to balance after ovarian cyst removal? ›

Furthermore, several studies have reported that ovarian reserve is not restored after 6 months to 1 year. According to an observational study of 25 women with unilateral endometrioma, serum AMH level was decreased by 24% of the baseline level at postoperative 1 month and was not restored until postoperative 6 months.

What foods to avoid if you have ovarian cysts? ›

Ovarian Cyst Diet: 5 Foods to Avoid
  • Red Meats. Avoid eating red meats such as pork, beef, and lamb. ...
  • Fried Foods. Fried foods are cooked in refined vegetable oils. ...
  • Refined Sugar-Rich Foods. ...
  • Alcohol. ...
  • Caffeine.
Jan 12, 2023

How long does a cyst removal surgery take? ›

Cyst removal is a straightforward surgical procedure that can be carried out on the scalp, head, face or anywhere. Cyst removal is carried out while you are awake using local anaesthetic injections. Cyst removal usually takes between 20 to 45 minutes.

Does PCOS go away after cyst removal? ›

As the problem of PCOS is a life-long problem it will continue, removing the ovaries will not cure the problem. There have been circumstances where some women have had regular menstrual cycles in the months following surgery and even some pregnancies.

How many days rest after laparoscopy? ›

If you've had laparoscopy to diagnose a condition, you'll probably be able to resume your normal activities within 5 days.


1. Do all Ovarian cysts need surgery or treatment?-Dr. Sanjay Panicker
(Doctors' Circle World's Largest Health Platform)
2. Recovering from surgery: What you need to know after having your ovaries and fallopian tubes removed
(Women's College Hospital)
3. Ovarian Cysts: Causes, Symptoms & Natural Treatment – Dr.Berg
(Dr. Eric Berg DC)
4. My Laparoscopy Surgery Experience & Recovery | Ovarian Cyst Removal
(Katherine Santana)
5. Ovarian Cysts | Q&A with Dr. Wang
(Johns Hopkins Medicine)
6. OVARIAN CYSTS..what you need to know
(dr priya and prateek)


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