Ovarian Cancer Surgery

What is ovarian cancer surgery?

Ovarian cancer surgery is designed to remove as much cancer as possible.

How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

Ovarian cysts can be either benign or cancerous. All women with an ovarian cyst should undergo an ultrasound scan and blood test for tumour markers. The risk for cancer is then calculated by the gynaecologist. A CT-scan at that point may need to be performed. Women with ovarian cysts suspicious of cancer are referred to specialist gynaecologists called gynaecological oncologists.

Staging surgery

Women who have completed their families are usually offered a total hysterectomy which includes the removal of the uterus, the ovaries and tubes. Biopsy from the fatty apron called omentum is also taken. This is to diagnose the cyst and if there is cancer to see if the cancer cells have spread. Young women who wish to preserve their fertility need special consideration and expert opinion from gynaecological oncologist.

Debulking surgery

Sometimes ovarian cancer spreads elsewhere in the pelvis or in the abdomen. In this situation, surgically removing all disease is an essential part of the ovarian cancer treatment. This special operation is called debulking surgery and includes a total hysterectomy (removal of womb, ovaries, tubes), the removal of the whole omentum, and cutting out all cancer nodules sitting in the abdomen tummy. Sometimes resection of a part of the bowels is required. Patients require additional chemotherapy after surgery to tackle the cancer.

Paying for your treatment

You have two options to pay for your ovarian cancer treatment – your costs may be covered by your private medical insurance, or you can pay for yourself. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the procedure will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the consultants’ fees and the hospital charge for your procedure.

For further information or to book a consultation or treatment, please get in touch with our cancer enquiries team: Call us on 0800 157 7747

Content reviewed: September 2014

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