Ovarian Cancer Surgery
A surgery is the primary treatment procedure for removing the cancerous tumour from the ovaries. Based on how far cancer has spread in the body and patient’s general health, the extent of the surgery is determined. In most cases, ovarian cancer treatmentinvolves a surgery followed by chemotherapy.The doctor will first diagnose the type, stage and grade of cancer and then determine the course of the surgery. It can involve removing one or both ovaries, fallopian tubes and the uterus. If it is advanced cancer, the doctor will first perform debulking (removing the tumour as much as possible), followed by chemotherapy.
Sometimes, ovarian cancer may spread outside the ovaries and affect other body parts as well. In such cases, doctors might have to perform additional surgeries like:
- Hysterectomy (Removing the Uterus)
- Omentectomy (Removing the fat layers that cover the intestines)
- Resection of bowel and/or other structures in the belly
- Lymphadenectomy (elimination of affected lymph glands)
If you are looking for the best ovarian cancer treatment in India, contact our doctors for detailed information today.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are non-specific and thus, it can be difficult to detect it at an early stage. In most cases, by the time ovarian cancer is detected, it has already spread to other parts of the body. However, patients should be aware of the following indications in their body and opt for a check-up at the earliest if there is:
- Swelling or bloating in the stomach
- Constant abdominal or pelvic pain
- Loss of appetite, feeling full quickly or constipation
- Abnormal changes in menstrual cycle
- Sudden weight loss or gain in the abdominal area
- Regular fatigue feeling
- Pain during sex
- Change in bladder habits like increase in frequency or incontinence
- Severe lower back pain
Women who are experiencing a combination of these symptoms regularly for a few weeks must visit their gynaecologist for a cancer screening immediately.
Before the surgery is scheduled, the doctor will prescribe some tests to check the overall health and well-being of the patient. The following tests are recommended:
- Blood tests – Complete hemogram, liver function test, renal function test, serum electrolytes and coagulation profile
- Pap smear test and a pelvic examination
- Urine tests
Based on the results of these tests, your surgery will be scheduled. A day before, you will also have to undergo the following tests:
- Chest X-Ray
- Blood and urine tests
- Cancer screening
If patients have undergone pre-operative chemotherapy, the toxic effects of the drugs are also considered before the surgical process.
Ovarian cancer surgery is performed under general anaesthesia by best doctors and surgeons for ovarian cancer treatment. Based on the stage of cancer, the doctor will recommend the right kind of surgery for the patient.
- If it is an early stage cancer, a minimally invasive procedure is done but in the case of advanced cancer, open technique surgery is required.
- In open surgeries, a large incision of about 20 cm in made in the abdominal area to remove the ovaries and nearby tissues.
- For minimally invasive surgeries, many small incisions are made to insert the surgical instruments and laparoscopically remove the ovaries.
- When the surgery is performed for an early stage cancer, several tissue samples are taken from abdominal areas, lymph nodes and pelvis to check how far cancer has spread. The omentum, a fatty tissue layer close to the ovaries is also removed to detect cancer cells.
- Post the removal, abdominal washing or peritoneal is done by adding sterile fluid in the stomach and then removing it. This fluid is then checked for cancer cells.
- If the surgeon finds cancer cells surrounding the ovaries, he will remove as much tumour as possible in a process called debulking. The surgeon may also have to remove other body parts, lymph glands and nodes affected by the cancerous cells.
The patient may experience some discomfort or pain once she wakes up post the surgery. A catheter is inserted to remove the excessive fluids from the body from the open wound area. Usually, the catheter is removed after 3-6 days and then the patient is discharged.
For patients detected with advanced cancer, chemotherapy is required post the surgery. A combination of surgery and chemotherapy can cure about 30% of women with advanced cancers.
If both the ovaries are removed during the surgery, the patient might experience sudden menopause symptoms for some weeks. The doctor will prescribe a hormone replacement therapy to deal with these symptoms.
Post the hospital discharge, doctors usually recommend the following:
- Breathing and leg exercises to prevent blood clotting in legs or chest infection
- Consuming healthy food or supplements to boost calcium and Vitamin D in the body
- No driving for at least 1-2 weeks post the surgery
- No strenuous activity or sexual intercourse for 4-6 weeks
Usually, it can take a patient up to 6 weeks to resume normal routine post the surgery.
RISK AND COMPLICATIONS
The doctor will explain the risks and complications associated with the ovarian cancer surgery to the patient and family beforehand:
- Patient may experience severe post-operative pain
- Infection in the wound
- Damage to surrounding organs like bladder, bowel or ureter
- Blood clots may be formed in the veins of legs or pelvis
The cost of treatment for ovarian cancer depends upon the hospital and the surgery type. Commonly, a complete open surgery can cost between Rs. 3.5 lakhs to 4.5 lakhs. If you’re traveling to India for the treatment, you might also need to consider the living and miscellaneous expenses to get a complete idea of the pricing. If your surgery needs to be followed up by chemotherapy, it may cost extra to undergo the treatment.
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