Avatar universal

Recovery after ovary removal surgery?

I am 41 with a strong family history of cancer. My mother had breast AND kidney cancer, and I recently lost my father to metastatic colorectal cancer. That being said, after having pain in the area of my left ovary, an ultasound found that I have "something" growing on my left ovary. A repeat ultrasound showed that it is growing, and I was giving the choice to leave it and "watch it" or have it removed. I did have a CA-125 blood test, which was "normal". However, given my experience with cancer, I feel it best to have my ovary removed and pathology done on the cyst/dermoid/mass growing on my ovary. To those of you who have had this surgery performed, I really would love to hear from the patients experience on what to expect during the recovery period. Thanks!
335 Responses
Avatar universal
Hiya i had a 10cm mass and my right ovary removed 2 and 1/2 weeks ago. I went into hospital the night before for a pre op assesment and went down to theatre at 11am the last time i remember seing the clock was 11.20am and i came round at 2pm. The surgeon tried to  do it thru the camera in my belly button but wasnt able to and had to cut me along my bikini line to remove them. I wont say it isnt painful because it is when you wake (although the pain killers soon sort that out) i had my catheter and drain removed on the saterday morning (operaion was thursday) and i started walking around sat the nurses also helped me to shower that day i went home sunday and over the past 2 weeks have got a bit better every day im now feeling 80% better and im pleased i had it out. Havent had any results from biopsy and its been 18 days but im only 23 and so they didnt think it was anything anyway so just need that confirming.

When is yor surgery? You will be fine and once back up on your feet will be pleased its out.

Good luck and take care xxx
Avatar universal
Thanks for sharing your experience, sounds like your on the mend, great! This will be my first surgery, even though they call it a laparotomy, it's still out of my comfort zone! My surgery is next Thursday, and I have a consultation with an anestheologist and my surgeon this Wed. It's been 18 days and no pathology report? How long did they say it would take?
Avatar universal
they said it would take 5-10 days and they would let me know if there was a problem so im really hoping there isnt since they havent been in touch.

Good luck you will be fine xxx
180861 tn?1218801190
Hello -
I had an 8cm endometriosis removed along with my left ovary through laparotomy (vertical incision) at the beginning of January.  It was my first surgery too, and while I was nervous about it, I must say having that monster out of my body was worth it.  I was in the hospital overnight, went home the next day and was in quite a lot of pain during the first week...it took a lot of coaxing from my mom to get me to stand and walk, but everyday was significantly better than the one before. Being a fairly active person I got frustrated about my limitations but give yourself time and just know that you will recover and feel better than ever.   Anything else specific you were wondering about the recovery/surgery?  Keep us updated!  Best, Libby
Avatar universal
I had a laparotomy to remove a 30 cm ovarian cyst 6 weeks ago.  Yes, 30 cm!  It weighed 20 pounds and had over 6 litres of fluid in it.  They made a midline incision from my ribcage to below my belly button, about 11 inches, so it was a pretty major cut.  I was also 22 weeks pregnant at the time, so it was kinda scary.  My baby and I made it out just fine though.  I remember coming to in the recovery room and panicking a little because my throat was so sore and I couldn't swallow.  I felt like I was choking.  But they swabbed my tongue and I felt fine after that, then I realised I was in quite a bit of pain from the incision and I told them so they must have given me more drugs because it went away.  I had an epidural as well as general anesthesia, but I don't know if that is typical.  I think it may have been so I wouldn't have to have morphine because of the baby.  My partner stayed a few nights in the hospital with me and that was a huge help.  I had a lot of nausea every time I would get up and walk around and he was always there to help, handing me something to get sick in then taking it away and giving me a facecloth and a drink of water.  He was better than any of the nurses working there (or maybe just not as busy.)  Altogether it was a lot less painful than I thought it would be.  Moving around was hard at times and getting settled in when I would lie down was a bit painful, but once I was lying still for a while it was fine. You have to hold a pillow over your stomach when you cough or sneeze or whatever, even laughing was kinda hard.  I found that just giving myself the time to recover was the hardest because I wanted to get back to my routine after a couple of weeks.  You start to feel better and think you're all healed but when you try to do something you realise you still have a ways to go.  So, be patient with yourself.  Try to find someone who is patient and compassionate that will help you with housework or whatever.  Don't feel guilty for taking it easy and getting the rest you need.  Good luck!!
Avatar universal
I had surgery in feb. for a small dermoid cyst, was in the hospital at 7 a.m. back home at 4. Took one pain pill in the evening and that was it. Discomfort from gas between shoulders, nothing bad just did not expect that. Waiting for the surgery was worse then the surgery...Best of luck to you! Hugs :)
Avatar universal
Hey McAudrey,

I had a mass removed along with my left ovary a few years ago. It was a big 4 lb benign mucinous (filled with junk) mass.

The surgery was done via C-section and my recovery time was probably a week before I felt up to going to college classes and what not.  I have to admit that for a year I didn't feel the same.  The tumor had pushed my organs all out of whack and the doctor said it would take time for them to come back into place and it did.

Like you I have a history with my sister Brittany having ovarian cancer and passing away from it.

I would definitely have the mass removed and do not "wait and watch".  

Avatar universal
Oh, I wanted to add, I didn't get my pathology back for over a month.  I had the surgery on the 23rd of March I think, and the doctor didn't call until the last day of April.  My cyst was serous (liquid filled) though and was very low risk so that may be why it took so long.  They had to remove it completely just to be sure and because I was pregnant and they didn't want to take the chance of leakage.  Also because it was gigantic and the baby couldn't grow properly.  The gyne-onc said they wouldn't know for sure what kind of cyst it was until it was out and they could examine it and that even if it was a serous cyst the fluid inside would be caustic and could cause peritonitis and possibly premature labour.  I wasn't given much of a choice in the matter but altogether I'm SO glad to have it out.  I feel so much better now.  I hope you feel better soon too.
Avatar universal
Can you tell me the results of your one ovary removal surgery? Have you had recurrence of endometrioma? Are you on oral contraceptives?
Avatar universal

OMG I am so happy I found you guys!!!  I am scheduled for surgery Wednesday to have my ovary removed and fallopian.  They are going to do the biopsy on the spot while I am open god for bid it is cancer they are going to have to do a full hysterectomy.

Needless to say IM TERRIFIED...The problem is I know too much about ovarian cancer, I have a business that helps cancer patients deal with the appearance related side effects from cancer treatments such as hairloss etc, and ovarian cancer is soooooooooooooooooooooo scary...

My tumor is solid but they do not know what it is, the gyno says he feels 97% its not but 1/2 percent is too much when dealing with ovarian.

So your in pain,,,,are you walking???

Avatar universal
Hi everyone
I had a 10cm chocolate cyst removed from my left ovary on weds afternoon along with endo lesions from my bowel (out of hospital by thurs pm).
It was my 1st operation so i was a little scared of what was going to happen.
But for anyone who is about to go through with the surgery it's not as bad as you will think.
General anaestic was fine(thank god i wasn't sick).
I was originally down for a laporotomy but the surgeon decided to do it laporoscopically with due to my age (26) leaves fewer scars.
I have 4 small incisions very small , 1 goes into my belly button.
Recovery is slow for me though, i feel about 100 at the minute, the pain isn't the problem it just that you cant use your stomach muscles. You will feel very battered and bruised.
Apparently i can return to work in 1 wk but i doubt that at the mo!
Before the cyst was removed i would get terrible pains and it took ages to get it diagnosed so i'm so relieved it has been removed life goes on now!
Please dont worry if having surgery soon. Kat xxx
Avatar universal
I am 26 years old. I been battleing wit cysts on my left ovary now for about 6 years total. I would have them removed about every 2 years. The pain is insane at times. You all should know what I am talking about. Well I am going into surgery in one day. At first the doctor was just gonna remove it again but I decided enough was enough and I told him to just remove the ovary which he said he planned on doing as well anyway. So I guess it worked out well. I have had laproscopy's before for just the removel on the cyst. But what is the diffrence in the suregery when removeing the ovary? also is it one day? How long is recovery? My other one's were one day surgery's and very small incesions. And not much pain or discomfort. So I would love if someone could let me know. Also after having one ovary removed. Does your body change...like moods....periods.....etc......Thanks to anyone would could help me!
Avatar universal
Hi...my name is Rozanne..and Iam 32 years old .. I was only discharged 3 hours ago from the hospital after having my right ovary with a giant cyst sitting on it removed via laparotomy. I can honestly say..this was scarry....I prayed and my friends and family supported me all through this time ...especially my boyfriend S.....he is teriific and the nicest guy u will ever wanna meet. Anyho...i had the same type of surgery done 4 yrs ago after my doc found a small one sitting on my left ovary...now the frightening thing is that they found one on the left and now the right....and this has me confused..i just need to know y they are returning like this...I dont have any kids yet ...but plan 2 really soon ...as though it seems as though i dont have much time in which to do this..
what do u guys think of this situation ...I tried the alternative method of treatment ..but this proved unsucccessful ...how can i regain some sense of normalcy in my life again?...
Avatar universal
hi everyone!! just wanting to know if after having an ovary removed by surgrery are you out of the hospital the same day?

thanks Shannon
Avatar universal
I had surgery (laproscopic) on 12/28 to remove both ovaries and the 2 cm cysts on them.  The path report finally came back a couple of days ago and the tumors turned out to be benign...thank God!  My surgery was outpatient....I was home the evening of surgery.  I had previously found that morphine doesn't touch pain for me and maybe this is why they did an epidural/spinal block.  I only took pain pills for 24 hours after getting home.  I have 2 very small incisions to either side and the biggest incision was from top to bottom of belly button.  I only took off the day of surgery (a Friday) and Monday...Tuesday was a holiday so I got to stay home that day too.  I went back to work on Wednesday and was fine.  I feel so much better to be free of pain and worry!  I didn't do anything the day after surgery but the following day I was up and around doing stuff around the house....I know I probably shouldn't have but I didn't lift anything heavy and still am not.  My belly button is still a little sore although almost completely healed now.  The pain was really not bad at all for me, but everyone is different.

Best of luck to you!
Avatar universal
I am a 25 year old female in fairly good health and just had a 3 in by 3 in(yes I said 3 inches by 3 inches) cyst removed from my right ovary on Friday, January 11, 2008.  I have been on birth control since I was about 14 for heavy periods.  I was traveling a lot and decided for 2 months (Aug & Sept) not to take my birth control but then went right back on it).  I went for an ultrasound on 9/21/07 and NO cysts.  In the middle of October, I went for my annual checkup and my doctor didn't feel anything.  I am just baffled that the type of cyst (corpus luteum) I had grew so fast.  Secondly, it's so rare to get cysts when you are on birth control since you don't ovulate.  Has anyone every had this type of cyst grow so fast?  Also, there seems to be a lump on the right side around the surgery area, is that normal swelling?

401584 tn?1224991022
Hello all... I am 39 and had my  surgery on 1/04...I'm so glad I found this website! It has been 3 weeks since my surgery and I have to say, all is well. My ovary was removed- My question is this...does anyone know if I will need estrogen...like the pill? I am getting night sweats and I am...frankly, a little "off center" lately...Is this only in my mind? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
401584 tn?1224991022
Hi shannon...yes...I was...I had mine removed "laproscopic"( I have NO idea how to spell that), but I was in hospital at 6am and at home by noon...HOWEVER...I was IN BED for 3-4 days...(meaning: walking only to the bathroom,etc...) and I moved pretty slowly for a couple of weeks...Has your doctor mentioned any after effects? I'm not sure if I will need the pill or any other hormones- will our other ovary just "kick in?" Good luck on your surgery- you will be just fine...trust me.
106886 tn?1281291572

First of all, to Marie3382 I am sorry but I don't have information to give you, but the people on this site are awesome and someone may be able to answer you, or actually, you might want to post again but start a new thread. I see these questions are attached to a post from last Spring. That would not make a huge difference really but why not start a new question/post. Also, that might bring more attention to your question.

And, while I think of it, to the recent posters, why not go blue? just go to the profile section on this site and enter as much or as little information as you want. It makes it sooo nice and easy to connect with others and to leave messages if you want. You can share info about yourself or say very little, but it is a nice way to feel a part of the community.

Travanboo, I wondered if you still have one remaing ovary left. Ok...may be a dumb question since you mentioned having an ovary out, and so logically you would have one left, no? Just checking. But, just know that any trauma to the body or any stress, etc, is going to cause some hormonal upheaval in most women, but I do understand your frustration not knowing for sure what is going on. I had everything taken out in 2000 and I do mean everything and not a word was said to me about the hormonal impact. In my case the oncologist put on a bioidentical estrogen patch the day after surgery and that was it. I had to do a ton of research to find out that I also needed testosterone and bio Progesterone just to feel better. But, in your case, once you have had time to heal and recover that other ovary should pick up the slack, so to speak.

I am the product of a couple (my Mom and Day :)) with only one ovary....but realizing you did not ask about fertility, again, that other ovary should take good care of you.

I do suggest you do some research (as you are now) and pick up some more information just in case things don't go as you have planned...in other words, what if in a few months you are not feeling like your old self?  Check out my Profile (just click on my name) and check out a few resources that might be helpful for you.

Good luck,

106886 tn?1281291572
OK....Obviously I meant Mom and DAD :))   I have to start editing my work better and I do need to go to bed....

Night all!

401584 tn?1224991022
Thank you thank you for your words...I feel as if I have joined a group...How nice...Thanks...I will search the site more to "turn blue" lol...and will sit patiently and wait for my other ovary to kick in...I'm trying VERY hard not to be "OVA-SENSITIVE" get it?
106886 tn?1281291572
OH....and a Someone who likes to make PUNS!!!!!!   I knew I liked you :)
I work with troubled Youth and it is so neat when they start coming up to me with word plays they have invented. Very cool and fun!

I think you are blue now....good for you. I resisted for awhile and I am not sure why I even resisted. But, now that I am blue (!) I certainly see the advantages. It is especially nice for this site since when you are hormonally challenged as I and others are from time to time even if supplementing with hormonal help, but for some of the wonderful women here who are on chemotherapy, it can be frustrating because the treatments often cause memory and focus problems. So it is so nice to just hit the blue, so to speak, and that helps to recall who has posted....you know, what their story is.

Thank you for posting back. Nice to know you saw this. I appreciate it!

Let me know if you have any other questions and I might be able to help or at least point out a few more resources. Or leave a message on my profile.

NOW....Now I am off to bed.

Sincerely, Mary
Avatar universal
Hi, I'm also new to this site.  I have had a total of 15 surgerys in 15 years.  I have a partial ovary that has functioned for the last 5 years.  It is true after a few days 4-5 they will kick in and start working.  Next week I will me having the remaining ovary removed along with bladder and urethea sling.  I have had severe pelvic floor pain and pain that radiates down inter thights, and low back pain  pressure when standing or sitting for any length of time.  I have urgent bladder pressure for the last 6 years.  I had problems with retained placenta and pelvic congestion (variciou veins) which led to a hysterectomy 5 years ago.  Things did improve, however I still have had this pain I decribed since than.  My urologist said I have a prolapsed bladder, he is waiting to do surgery on that until after this next surgery.  I'am discouraged thinking of going through another surgery!  Has anyone had anything similiar,
Avatar universal
I had my right ovary removed laproscopically on Friday via outpatient surgery.  While I do not have any pain, and have stopped all meds, I find that I am continuously nauseous.  Any thoughts?  It is driving me nuts.. Thanks....
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