Part 4: Treatment with surgery
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Ovarian cancer
Some women with early-stage ovarian cancer (stage IA
or IC) or borderline ovarian cancer may be able to have
a less invasive surgery using laparoscopy. Laparoscopy
uses a few tiny cuts in the belly area (abdomen) rather
than one big one. A long, thin tube with a light and
camera lens at the end (called a laparoscope) is inserted
through one of the cuts so your doctor can see inside
your abdomen. Surgical tools are inserted through the
other cuts to remove tissue.
Before surgery, you will be asked to stop eating, drinking,
and taking some medicines for a short period of time.
General anesthesia is used for all of these surgeries. You
will spend several days in the hospital after the surgery.
You may feel some pain and tenderness in the area
between your hip bones (pelvis) and abdomen for a few
days or weeks after the surgery. It may be several weeks
before you are able to return to normal activities. The
time it takes to fully recover depends on the extent of
the surgery and varies from person to person.
Part 4 Contents
New suspected ovarian cancer:
Ovarian cancer confirmed by previous surgery:
Borderline ovarian cancer:
Side effects are unplanned physical or emotional
responses to treatment. Side effects of surgery
depend on the type of surgery and whether you
have already gone through natural menopause. If
you haven’t, surgery that removes both ovaries will
cause surgical menopause. Natural menopause is
when a woman’s menstrual periods gradually stop
due to aging. Surgical menopause is a sudden and
permanent stop in menstrual periods caused by
surgery that removes both ovaries. After natural or
surgical menopause, you will not be able to become
pregnant. Symptoms of menopause include:
• Hot flashes,
• Mood swings,
• Trouble concentrating,
• Vaginal dryness,
• Night sweats, and
• Infertility (inability to have babies).
Other side effects of surgery for ovarian cancer
may include: pain at the surgical site, leg swelling
(lymphedema), difficulty urinating, and constipation.
An important part of cancer care is to treat and
prevent these side effects if possible. So, be sure
to tell your doctor about any side effects you have.