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Ovarian Cancer Surgery

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The most common method of treating ovarian cancer is via surgery. There are various types of surgery options which are available and to choose the correct one depends on the doctor; he checks the patient thoroughly and detects the stage of the cancer. The type of surgery or the type of treatment will depend upon the stage of the cancer. The type of treatment will also depend on the spread of the cancer. But there is a price one has to pay for curing this cancer completely. There are many long term side effects that one can face after ovarian cancer surgery is performed. The side effects can be difficulty emptying the bladder, tenderness and pain in the area of the operation, menopause and infertility.

Following are the treatments which are available to cure ovarian cancer: -

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radioactive therapy
  • Clinical trials

Out of these treatments for ovarian cancer, only surgery can be given single handedly and all other treatments need to be combined with either of them to treat the patient.

Types of ovarian cancer surgery that can be performed on the women are: -

The type of surgery performed on the patients will depend upon the spread of the cancer. The surgery varies from being minor to major.

The cost will also vary accordingly.

The types of surgeries are as follows: -

  1. Unilateral salpingo - oophorectomy: - In this type of surgery, only one fallopian tube and one ovary are removed from the woman's body.

  2. Bilateral salpingo - oophorectomy: - This is a surgical procedure which involves the removal of both the ovaries as well as the fallopian tubes from the body of the woman.

  3. Lymph node biopsy: - this is the time when the lymph nodes near the ovaries are removed to detect if the cancer has spread in them or not.

  4. Partial oophorectomy: - This is a surgical method via which a part from single or both the ovaries is removed. This is the part which is affected by the cancer.

  5. Tumor debulking: - This type pf surgery is done if the size of the tumor is very large. In this type of surgery, the maximum quantity of tumor is removed if not whole. This surgery method is used when the doctor knows that removal of the whole tumor is not possible.

  6. Omentectomy: - A tissue called as 'omentum' is removed from the lining of the abdomen in this type of surgery.

  7. Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and complete hysterectomy: - This is a surgical process which is used to remove the parts from the female reproductive system; in this process the uterus, cervix, and both ovaries and the fallopian tubes are removed. This can be done in three ways: - a) vaginal hysterectomy: This is done if the cervix and the uterus are removed with the help of an operation from the vagina and b) abdominal hysterectomy: The uterus and the cervix are removed via by making a large cut in it. c) Total laparoscopic hysterectomy: This surgery takes place if the uterus and cervix are taken out through a small incision in the abdomen using a laparoscope.

The side effects or risks of ovarian cancer surgery are: -

  1. Short-term pain and tenderness are seen in the area where the surgery is performed. This is a side effect which can be cured with the help of medications provided by the doctor.
  2. Irregular bowel movements are also observed after the surgery. They get normal after a few weeks of the surgery.
  3. Removal of ovaries means the woman is unable to conceive. This can be an emotional set back for a few. Many a times, it is also observed that the feeling of being intimate with the partner is also lost.
  4. Menopause takes place when both ovaries are removed and the body's natural source of estrogen and progesterone is lost. The most common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes and vaginal dryness which occur soon after the ovarian cancer surgery. There are forms of hormonereplacement therapy (therapy of ovarian cancer )that may be used to relieve such symptoms.

Ovarian cancer surgery is the process which involves complete removal of the cancer; but it is also backed up with the help of either radio or chemo therapy so that the cancer cells (if any) can die in the body. Treatment given after ovarian cancer surgery to increase the chances of a longer life is called adjuvant therapy. It is also possible to live a healthy life after the surgery takes place if correct care for ovarian cancer and precautions are taken by the patents.

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