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Ovarian tumors are usually benign (non-cancerous), but if left untreated they may develop into ovarian cancer. If you have an ovarian tumor that grows and causes painful symptoms, you may need to undergo ovarian tumor removal, which is a surgical procedure to remove the tumor and sometimes the affected ovary or the surrounding tissue as well.
Ovarian tumor removal can be carried out with laparoscopy or laparotomy depending on the size of the tumor, both are done under general anesthetic. Your surgeon may only remove the tumor and leave the rest of the ovary intact or remove the entire ovary and fallopian tube. If the tumor is malignant (cancerous), your surgeon may remove part or all of the abnormal growth (ovarian tumor debulking).
You will need to stay in the hospital for 3 to 7 days after the surgery, but you should plan to stay in Penang for 14 days. During your stay, you will attend follow-up hospital checkups where your surgeon monitors your condition and your surgeon will also remove the stitches.
You may be able to go back to work within 4 weeks, but it is advisable to wait around 6 weeks to get back to your normal activities. During your recovery period, avoid intense exercises, heavy lifting, and sexual intercourse.
After the surgery, your surgeon will give you instructions regarding your diet, exercise, and wound care. You may need to meet your local doctor regularly so they can make sure your tumor and/or cancer has not come back. It is also advisable to see a therapist or counselor to talk to about emotional changes that ovarian tumor removal can cause.
Ovarian tumor removal has a high success rate of about 90%. However, just like any surgery, there are always side effects and risks that come with this type of surgery, including infection, bleeding and damage to nearby organs (such as the ureters and bladder). If both of your ovaries are removed, the side effect is menopause, infertility, dry vagina, hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, and mood shifts.
In some cases, if your tumor is benign, you may need no treatment. Instead, your doctor may use “watchful waiting” to ensure the tumor does not cause any problems. If your tumor is malignant, your alternative is systemic therapies, such as hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.
Ovarian tumors can cause painful symptoms and cancerous. After ovarian tumor removal, you should not feel any of these symptoms anymore and you no longer will have a tumor in your ovary. Also, the chance of cancer spreading to other parts of your body is reduced and your fertility is usually preserved after treatment.
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