Ovarian Cancer (cont.)
In this Article
- Ovarian cancer facts*
- What are the ovaries?
- What is ovarian cancer?
- What are risk factors for ovarian cancer?
- Ovarian cancer symptoms
- How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?
- How is staging for ovarian cancer determined?
- What is the treatment for ovarian cancer?
- Treatment methods
- Radiation therapy
- What are the side effects of treatment for ovarian cancer?
- What follow-up care is necessary?
- Where can ovarian cancer patients find support?
- What research is available for ovarian cancer patients?
- What resources are available to patients with ovarian cancer?
- Pictures of Ovarian Cancer - Slideshow
- Take the Ovarian Cancer Quiz
- 15 Cancer Symptoms Women Ignore - Slideshow
- Ovarian Cancer FAQs
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
The surgeon makes a long cut in the wall of the abdomen. This type of surgery is called a laparotomy. If ovarian cancer is found, the surgeon removes:
- both ovaries and fallopian tubes (salpingo-oophorectomy)
- the uterus (hysterectomy)
- the omentum (the thin, fatty pad of tissue that covers the intestines)
- nearby lymph nodes
- samples of tissue from the pelvis and abdomen
If the cancer has spread, the surgeon removes as much cancer as possible. This is called "debulking" surgery.
If you have early Stage I ovarian cancer, the extent of surgery may depend on whether you want to get pregnant and have children. Some women with very early ovarian cancer may decide with their doctor to have only one ovary, one fallopian tube, and the omentum removed.
You may be uncomfortable for the first few days after surgery. Medicine can help control your pain. Before surgery, you should discuss the plan for pain relief with your doctor or nurse. After surgery, your doctor can adjust the plan if you need more pain relief.
The time it takes to heal after surgery is different for each woman. You will spend several days in the hospital. It may be several weeks before you return to normal activities.
If you haven't gone through menopause yet, surgery may cause hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and night sweats. These symptoms are caused by the sudden loss of female hormones. Talk with your doctor or nurse about your symptoms so that you can develop a treatment plan together. There are drugs and lifestyle changes that can help, and most symptoms go away or lessen with time.
You may want to ask your doctor these questions about surgery:
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