Ovarian Cancer Surgery And Treatment Options

Surgery for ovarian cancer

Surgery is known to be one of the main treatments for ovarian cancer. The extent of surgery depends on the spread of cancer. For women who are of the childbearing age and who have cancer detected at the earliest stage, it might be possible to treat cancer without removing the ovaries and the uterus. Surgery for ovarian cancer has three main categories. Namely, staging laparotomy, interval cytoreduction, and debulking.

Surgery for ovarian cancerStaging Laparotomy

This process of laparotomy involves a vertical incision in the abdomen that is large enough to allow the surgeon to look at the cancerous tissue inside the body. This also leads to the removal of the uterus (a hysterectomy). The removal of the uterus along with the ovaries and fallopian tubes is performed in a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy or BSO. Furthermore, an omentectomy involves the removal of the omentum, as ovarian cancer spreads to this area as well.

In case of fluid in the pelvic or abdominal cavity, the doctor extracts the fluid. They then send it for laboratory tests to check for cancer cells and wash the area with saline water.

The main goals of this surgery include determining how far cancer had spread, obtaining an accurate surgical staging and diagnosis.

Interval Cytoreduction

Interval cytoreduction is a follow-up surgery for women who respond well to chemotherapy. Besides, it includes laparotomy and laparoscopy with the same surgical protocols.


Debulking is a procedure that involves the removal of as much of the cancerous tumor as possible. This procedure is significant when cancer has spread throughout the abdomen at the time of the surgery. Moreover, the main goal of the debulking procedure is to leave behind no visible cancer and the removal of cancer symptoms.

Cytoreductive Surgery (CRS) with HIPEC

This type of surgery usually performed in very advanced and recurrent ovary cases with the help of a machine. First, the maximum removal of disease done followed by the installation of hot water along with chemotherapy drugs inside the abdominal cavity (HIPEC). 

See more on treatment for ovarian cancer here.

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