Benign ovarian cysts can be removed safely and effectively either by laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) or laparotomy (making an incision in the abdomen) while leaving the healthy ovarian tissue in place and unharmed. Women undergoing surgery for removal of an ovarian cyst should be made aware of the risk of loosing their ovary, if the cyst is too big. The laparoscopic (key hole) approach is usually preferred because of its many advantages over the traditional open approach (laparotomy). This involves making 3-4 small cuts in the skin of the abdomen to allow introducing the laparoscope and the surgical instruments into the badominal cavity. The cysts, regardless of their size, can be removed intact as they are carefully dissected free of the ovary. The cysts are placed in laparoscopic retrieval bags, the contents are aspirated (drained) to reduce the volume and the cysts can be removed within the bag through a small incision.
In most cases laparoscopic ovarian cystectomies are performed as day case procedure. The recovery time with return to normal daily activities is around 1 or 2 weeks.