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Dr Selina Pang – Single Incision Laparoscopic Ovarian Cystectomy
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1. What is a single incision laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy?

A single incision laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy is the least invasive surgical method of removing an ovarian cyst. The surgery is carried out through a 1.5-centimeter incision, which leaves a nearly invisible scar. Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop within or on an ovary, and are a common gynecological problem among women. In general, doctors will suggest removal of a cyst, while in some cases, removal of the entire affected ovary may be recommended to avoid further complications (such as twisting, bleeding, or rupture) depending on the nature of the cyst and a patient’s condition. It is also important to diagnose a cyst early to determine whether it is benign or malignant.

 

2. What are the benefits of a single incision laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy?

This particular type of surgery only requires a 1.5-centimeter incision, which is even smaller than that of most other laparoscopic surgeries. The smaller surgical wound reduces pain and risk of infection, and leaves a nearly undetectable scar in the navel. A patient’s length of stay at the hospital and overall recovery time are also shortened, offering the patient much more flexibility when it comes to setting aside time for the procedure and post-surgery recovery.

 

3. What are the differences between a single incision laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy and other forms of ovarian cystectomies?

An ovarian cyst may be removed via a laparotomy or minimally invasive surgery, the latter of which may be further categorized as laparoscopic surgery or single incision surgery. A laparotomy involves an abdominal incision of 10 to 12 centimeters, while laparoscopic surgery is carried out through three incisions in the abdomen. Single incision surgery requires only one 1.5-centimeter incision in the navel, reducing pain and risk of infection while shortening a patient’s hospital stay and recovery time. Since the incision is made in the navel, the scar is almost completely hidden, minimizing effects on a patient’s outward appearance after the surgery.

 

4. Are single incision laparoscopic ovarian cystectomies suitable for everyone?

Not all ovarian cysts need to be removed. Most physiological cysts disappear within a short period of time and therefore do not need to be removed. Non-physiological cysts, on the other hand, may continue to grow due to an accumulation of fluid. A cystectomy to remove these cysts is generally recommended. Though single incision laparoscopic ovarian cystectomies are suitable for most patients, doctors still need to consider a patient’s age, health condition, as well as the location and size of the cyst before prescribing the most appropriate treatment method. With this in mind, it is important for patients to consult with their doctors and receive a thorough examination before deciding on a course of treatment. 

 

 

Source: Dr Selina Pang Man Wah, Specialist in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Hong Kong Adventist Hospital – Stubbs Road