Reasons, Preparation & Procedure of Cystectomy

Submitted on March 27, 2012

What is Cystectomy?

A cystectomy is a surgical procedure that is performed on a cyst on any part of the body. Medically, the location of the cyst is also added to the name of the procedure to better describe it. Therefore, an ovarian cystectomy is a procedure to remove an ovarian cyst, a pilonidal cystectomy will remove a pilonidal cyst at the base of the spine, and so on. Ovarian cysts are surprisingly a normal occurrence in nearly every woman's reproductive life. Many of these regular asymptomatic cysts are not dangers and are called functional cysts or follicular cysts. These don't require any treatment. However, there are other types of cysts like the chocolate cysts or endometrioid cysts, which have to be operated on, as the most effective treatment for it.

Why Is it Done?

Usually, ovarian cysts do not have to be operated on if they smaller than 5 cms, as they will pass out of the uterus during a normal menstrual cycle. However, in the case of an endometrioid cyst, the situation is slightly different. In this type of cyst, a case of endometriosis is caused by an incomplete ejection of the endometrium. This partially ejected endometrium will then grow back into the ovaries. The cyst is a blood filled sac and if this type of cyst ruptures, then the exudates can flood the abdominal cavity, which is a medical emergency.

How To Prepare for it?

To prepare for a cystectomy, the usual slew of tests for a surgery is required. This includes an HIV, HCV, and infectious disease tests. Apart from this a serum creatinine test, an ECG, and sometimes a chest X ray is also taken. It goes without saying that an ultrasound precedes the diagnosis and is therefore part of the preparation.

How is it Done?

A cystectomy is performed through an incision in the abdominal area. These days, the preferred method is a laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy. In this method, four punctures are made in the abdomen and the cyst is then excised from the ovaries and removed. The procedure is rather quick and is completed in a matter of hours. You might have to spend some time in the hospital afterwards, but you wouldn't have to stay for more than a day. Recovery from  this surgery could take up to two weeks but if the removed cyst was small, this period will reduce to just a week or even less.