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I'm having a laparoscopy in a couple of weeks to remove a 7cm dermoid and possibly the ovary. What should I expect?

By Anonymous February 20, 2013 - 2:41pm
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BBefore and after surgery? Longterm? Conceiving? The shoulder pain? Thanks so much. (Nervous)

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Hello Jen,

A dermoid cyst is a saclike growth that is present at birth. It contains structures such as hair, fluid, teeth, or skin glands that can be found on or in the skin. Ovarian dermoid cysts develop during the reproductive years.

Laparoscopy is a way of performing surgery without making a large incision. The surgeon will make tiny incisions and insert tiny instruments and a camera into the site to view the internal organs and remove the dermoid and ovary, if necessary.

As with any surgery, food and drink are restricted for eight hours before the procedure.

You will be asked to sign a consent form that tells about the procedure and about its risks. Patients need to understand what the surgeon will do during the procedure and understand the answers to their questions.

General anesthesia is administered. You will be asleep during the procedure. The anesthesiologist will speak with you beforehand.

The procedure can be performed as an ambulatory or out patient procedure, which means you can return home the same day. Someone else should come along to drive you home. Do not wear any jewelry.

You may experience some pain or throbbing at the site of the small incisions. Your surgeon may prescribe a pain reliever. If stitches are used, a follow-up appointment for removal of the stitches will be scheduled in a week or two.

Sometimes the carbon dioxide gas can trigger shoulder pain after the procedure. Some of the same nerves that reach the shoulder are present in the abdomen. The pain goes away over time. Carbon dioxide gas is injected into the abdomen to expand it and allow the doctor more room to view the organs.

Any long term consequences and the ability to conceive, especially if one ovary is removed, need to be discussed with your physician.


February 20, 2013 - 6:19pm
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