How is an ovarian cyst treated?

Functional ovarian cysts generally go away without treatment. Your healthcare provider may give you medications containing hormones (such as birth control pills) to stop ovulation and prevent future cysts from forming. If you do not ovulate, you will not form functional cysts. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove a cyst.

What types of surgery are used to treat ovarian cysts?

The type of surgery used depends on the size of the cyst and how it appears on the ultrasound. The different procedures used include:

  • Laparoscopy: This is a procedure in which the doctor inserts a small device through a small incision in the abdomen. He or she views the reproductive organs and pelvic cavity using the device. The doctor can remove the cyst through tiny incisions.
  • Laparotomy: This procedure uses a bigger incision to remove the cyst. The cyst will be tested for cancer. If it is cancer, the doctor may need to remove one or both ovaries, the uterus, a fold of fatty tissue called the omentum and some lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped structures found throughout the body that produce and store infection-fighting cells, but may contain cancer cells.

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