Ovarian Cancer Surgery

Ovarian Cancer Surgery

Surgery is the main treatment for most ovarian cancers it is a procedure for removing the cancerous tumor from the ovaries. The goal is to see how far your cancer has spread and to remove as much of the tumor as possible through surgery. The surgery depends on how far cancer has spread in the body and the patient’s general health, the extent of the surgery is determined.

Ovarian Cancer Surgery - Overview

Ovarian Cancer Surgery

Surgery is the main treatment for most ovarian cancers it is a procedure for removing the cancerous tumor from the ovaries. The goal is to see how far your cancer has spread and to remove as much of the tumor as possible through surgery. The surgery depends on how far cancer has spread in the body and the patient’s general health, the extent of the surgery is determined. In most cases, ovarian cancer treatment involves surgery followed by chemotherapy.

Ovarian cancer might also spread outside the ovaries which might affect other body parts as well. In such cases, your doctor might have to perform additional surgeries like:

  • Lymphadenectomy (elimination of affected lymph glands) Splenectomy
  • Appendectomy
  • Omentectomy (Removal of the fat layers that cover the intestines)
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Hysterectomy (Removing the Uterus)
  • Resection of bowel and/or other structures in the belly

If you are looking for the best ovarian cancer treatment in India, connect with us for detailed information.

Ovarian Cancer Surgery - Symptoms

Ovarian Cancer Surgery

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are non-specific and it is hard to detect ovarian cancer at an early stage. In most of the cases, ovarian cancer it has already spread to the other parts of the body by the time it is detected. However, patients should be aware of all the symptoms that they are experiencing in their body and consult the doctor at the earliest if there is:

  • Change in bladder habits like an increase in frequency or incontinence
  • Severe lower back pain
  • Swelling or bloating in the stomach
  • Constant abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Regular fatigue feeling
  • Pain during sex
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain in the abdominal area
  • Loss of appetite, feeling full very quickly or constipation
  • Abnormal changes in the menstrual cycle

Women who are experiencing a combination of the above mentioned symptoms regularly for some time it is advised to visit their gynecologist for a cancer screening immediately.

Ovarian Cancer Surgery - Pre-Procedure

Ovarian Cancer Surgery

A week or two before your surgery, your doctor will recommended you some tests to make sure you are healthy enough for the procedure.  These tests are usually recommended to check your overall health and well-being. The following tests are recommended before your surgery:

  • Pap smear test and a pelvic examination
  • Blood tests- that may include complete hemogram, liver function test, renal function test, serum electrolytes, and coagulation profile.
  • Urine tests

Based on the results of the tests mentioned above, your surgeon will schedule your surgery. A day before the surgery, you will also have to undergo the following tests:

  • ECG
  • Cancer screening
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Chest X-Ray

The toxic effects of the drugs are also considered before the surgical process if the patient has undergone pre-operative chemotherapy.

Ovarian Cancer Surgery - During Procedure

Ovarian Cancer Surgery

Ovarian cancer surgery is carried out under general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the right kind of surgery for you based on the stage of cancer.

  •   If the cancer is in the early stage, a minimally invasive procedure is performed but in the case of advanced cancer, open surgery technique is required.
  •   In an open surgery, a large incision of about 20 cm is made in the abdominal area to remove the ovaries and nearby tissues. 
  •   In minimally invasive surgery, many small incisions are made to insert the surgical instruments and laparoscopically to remove the ovaries.
  •   If the surgery is performed for an early stage cancer, the surgeon will take several tissue samples from abdominal areas, lymph nodes and pelvis to check how far cancer has spread. A fatty tissue layer (omentum) close to the ovaries is also removed to detect cancer cells.
  •   Post the removal of the tissues, abdominal washing or peritoneal is done by adding sterile fluid in the stomach and then later removing it. This fluid is then checking the cancer cells.
  •   Your surgeon will remove as much tumor as possible and if he finds cancer cells surrounding the ovaries in a process called debulking. If there are other body parts like lymph glands and nodes affected by the cancerous cells the surgeon might remove them as well.

Ovarian Cancer Surgery - Post-Procedure

Ovarian Cancer Surgery

Post your surgery you may experience some discomfort or pain once you wake up. After the surgery, to remove the excess fluids from the body from the open wound area a catheter will be inserted. It takes around 3-6 days to get discharge from the hospital and you can only be discharged after the catheter is removed.

If the patient is detected with advanced cancer your surgeon will perform Chemotherapy after the surgery. A combination of chemotherapy and surgery can treat about 30% of women with advanced cancers.

If both the ovaries are removed during the surgery, you might experience sudden menopause symptoms for a few weeks. Your doctor will recommend hormone replacement therapy to deal with these symptoms. Once the patient is discharged from the hospital, doctors usually recommend the following steps to take care of:

  • Usually, it can take a patient up to 6 weeks to get back to their normal routine post the surgery.
  • No strenuous activity or sexual intercourse for 4-6 weeks.
  • To prevent blood clotting in legs or chest infection, you would be recommended breathing and leg exercises .
  • Consuming healthy food or supplements that would help to boost calcium and Vitamin D in the body.
  • No driving for at least 1-2 weeks after the surgery.

Ovarian Cancer Surgery - Risk & Complications

Ovarian Cancer Surgery

Your doctor will tell you about all the risks and complications associated with the surgery before the surgery. Following are some of the risks that you might experience after your surgery:

  • The patient may experience severe post-operative pain.
  • Infection in the wound.
  • Blood clots may be formed in the veins of legs or pelvis.
  • Damage to surrounding organs like bladder, bowel or ureter.

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Ovarian Cancer Surgery

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