Endometriosis UK
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3 surgeries in one

I have a cyst on each ovary. Was going in for a simple procedure to remove cysts, uteran ablasion, and tubal ligation. After 2 ultrasounds, there is an additional mass on one ovary. They have decided to remove one ovary along with the other procedures. Has anyone been through this? Wondering about pain, symptoms, recovery time, still have periods? Kinda freakin out. Any suggestions or thoughts?? I also have a 2 year old that I have to be away from for at least 2 weeks while recovering :(

7 Replies

Hi, yes during my first operation they had to remove one of my ovaries. Recovery time depends on the type of surgery you have, usually it is done through laparoscopy surgery (key hole) and you will need a few days bed rest, but some women are up and walking the same day. Just take it slowly, don't rush back to work or back into routine, take the much needed time for your body to heal internally as well. One of the hardest things I found was the painkillers and how they effected my bowels, try keep a very healthly and high in fibre diet. Best of luck!


Thank you!


I would get a second opinion on whether you need to have the ovary removed. I have 3 cysts, 2 on my right ovary and 1 on my left ovary that I am having removed laparoscopically in 6 weeks and there was never any mention at all of taking out either of my ovaries. Mine are fairly large too..... 3 cm, 5cm, 6cm endometriomas. Unless they are seeing damage to the ovary or something else that makes them think it needs to come out. I would ask a lot of questions about that and make sure you really understand why they want to remove the ovary all together.


They won't know till they open you up whether the cyst has killed off the ovary.

Cysts can be attached to the outside of - or completely enveloping an ovary. When they envelope it completely then it is usually curtains for that ovary and removing it is the best option as it isn't of much use for anything else and is prone to just refilling any cyst that is drained and cleaned up.

The ones tht are just attached to the outside of the ovary are a lot easier to remove.

Forfeiting an ovary does at least have some very good benefits.

You immediately are free of any risk of ovarian cysts forever more on that side.

Your body can certainly cope with just one working ovary and keeping one is enough to avoid needing HRT, and provided you have a healthy clear tube with the remaining ovary then natural pregnancy is possible and if th tube is compromised then IVF is an option to bypass the blockage. There is no benefit to you to hold on to a useless ovary that will keep on being a risk of repeat cysts time and again.

I feel fab on the left side - had ovary tube, 6cm leaking cysts removed from there and after recovering from the op - not a peep of a twinge of pain on that side at all. Marvellous to have one side pain free.

The other side had an attached 8cm cyst which was stuck with the ovary in the POD.

the ovary was cut free from the adhesions and placed back where it is supposed to be, the 8cm endometrioma was removed along with heaps of endo.

I had a mirena coil inserted, a smear test done and several biopsies too.

Now warning is I did go in for a lap op just to remove the cysts and insert mirena.

I woke up to having had a laparotomy (big hole) and a catheter was installed to help me pee for a couple of days which was absolutely marvellous - the last thing I felt like doing was getting up for the loo.

I felt like my insides were falling down for several weeks - it was a long recovery - 4-5months to be op pain free, 17 months for my bladder to get working normally for itself (which is exceptionally long - normally a couple of weeks disruption is the max before getting back to normal peeing.)

I certainly was not at all prepared for how much hard work the recover was - but I don't want that to put you off.

I'd had endo probs for 29 years by that stage - undiagnosed though heaven knows how many times i'd been to the GP.

So knowing all I know now about endo - no surprises that things were a lot worse inside than anyone anticipated even the surgeon.

And here I am 3 years later - pain free for the most part. Periods stopped too. Life is a load better than it had been for so long.

Don't get me wrong I still have endo - in bowel and bladder - I have had a new cyst on the remaining ovary form very quickly after surgery and burst 4 months after the op, and since grown yet another one on the remaining ovary -which much like the 1st 8cm cyst on that side which was surgically removed - it is not causing me much pain at all. It does have the odd day where pain relief is needed and it sure can twinge if i over do the physical exertions - like shifting a sofa to hoover the carpet. But provided i am careful - most of the days are pain free and no need for meds at all.

I was up and walking same day as the op. Thanks to the morphine....and I am a smoker so I was up and pottering around the ward as soon as i could muster the strength to pop outside for a smoke.

Carrying things was very hard for a long time. I would shop at the supermarket with helpers, don't be afraid to ask for help with packing shopping bags - all the supermarkets offer that help and boy do you need it and are grateful for it. Or join up a supermarket online shopping website and get the stuff delivered to your kitchen. Really doesn't cost much and in some areas is free.

Well worth it to save you from pain while you need help.

The biggest issue was little kids - I have lots of nephews and nieces and 7 were toddlers at the time.

Lifting them was out of the question. on to/off toilets was hard enough for me - couldn't manage to do that for kiddies. Lifting them in to the bath, or up into shopping trolleys was out of the question too.

So there will be logistical issues with having a youngster to deal with and watch out for them suddenly forgetting mum has a sore tummy and jumping on your lap for a cuddle etc. It can send a shock pain through the stratosphere if you're not careful !!! Oh I found out the hard way - more than once.

If you can get help with the little one for the 1st few weeks it will make life a lot easier.

It wouldbe better to include little one in your care - never to young to see the stitches and help clean the wounds and put on a plaster. By letting them see you have a sore tummy and some bruising they might just remember to make allowances for not being picked up and remember mummy has a sore tummy before launching themselves at you.

And mummy can't play so much either because she has a sore tummy.

Reinforce that the worst is over that what they see is you getting better and they can help with that. Kids are fascinated and not grossed out. They want to help - they NEED to help.

You'll still be okay with all the kiddy things like washing them down with a flannel- doing teeth - bedtime stories and so on.

Just save the baths till you can have someone there to help with lifting. If it is still too sore to manage yourself.

Or use this as a learning time to get step up into the bath or up to the loo to teach junior a bit more independence and to fend for himself with supervision, to clean up after himself, to put his laundry in the laundry basket because mummy cannot bend down, or to load the washing machine for you one garment at a time. Little things which to them are play and helping mummy are actually a godsend to you.

It isn't easy but it is do-able. Perhaps getting a gran or mum or aunty or sister or friend to move in for a while to help out would make life easier - or you and your child go stay with relatives who can takeover the heavy childcaring duties allowing you to heal better without having painful set backs by overdoing it.

Planning is everything. The more you can plan ahead the less likely you will be caught out.

Move kitchen essentials to waist height so you are not stretching up into cupboard or bending down and lifting from lower cupboards.

Get a thermos flask to carry drinks from room to room without spilling - as twinges and pangs ofpain from wounds can catch you off guard at any moment during recovery.

Have a cushion or rolled up towel near the loo and push that in to your tummy when you are bearing down on the loo for a poo - using bruised and cut tummy muscles when you need to go poop is very painful and may need a bit of extra suppport. Likewise use a chair or stepladder near the loo if there is room, so help getting on and off the loo.

Generally speaking having a lap op is going to be a lot quicker recovery than having a C-section cut laparotomy op or a vertical cut laparotomy, and it is always hoped that everything that needs to be done can be done with a lap op, but not always and there are times when the more you need doing the more likely it will be that you end up with a big hole op instead.

Do discuss this with the surgeon - on your consent form you can let them know if you are only willing for the op to be a lap op and if you definitely want to avoid a laparotomy if possible to do so. Mine was a big chunk of time in terms of recovery -not one I would want to repeat in a hurry, but certainly worth it in the end.

Hope everything goes smoothly for you and recovery is swift. And keep the little one posted on what's happening - they are surprisingly resiliant and deal with medical matters much better if they are kept informed on a basic level. My nephews and nieces were really great little helpers. They all got to see the wounds each time they were being cleaned and recovered, so they watched the progress of healing over the weeks and I got better. kids love playing doctors and nurses. there are plenty of story books about children and mums and dads being sick and in hospital, so might be an idea before the op to read through a few such books with the little one story time, to familiarise the him or her with what's going to be happening.

Use skype to stay in contact visually if little one is away from your for a while, but you could do with TLC yourself so try and and spend time with him or her for cuddles as soon as poss after surgery.


Thank you so much for all the info! That was alot to take in but very educational! Im still nervous about the procedure. Worried that the doctor is going to find more wrong once hes in there. Im not well educated on everything thats wrong. One of my main concerns is that the "mass" on my ovary is cancerous. We shall see. Again, thank you for all the information! Take care


There wasnt mention of the removal until they found the mass in addition to the cysts. My doc sent the images to a cancer specialist and he recommended the removal also. Good luck to you! :)


Same here - the two cysts looked suspect on scan - I was sent for a blood test CA125 - came back high, and was then fast tracked to see the surgeon and then to get the op.

I knew next to nothing about endo until after my op when I was told that I had endo. Everything has been learned since then.

We all start somewhere.

I was lucky - one ovary was missing after a scan following an exploded cyst. At my follow up scan - she scanner lady found the cyst had refilled. She wasn't even looking elsewhere.

I just happened to mention that last time one of my ovaries was missing.

She decided to take a look - this was an internal scan BTW - and she rummaged around in there and said WOW - found it and another cyst !!

Much bigger than the angry troublesome one too.

She then took measurements and got very interested in what she was seeing and she warned me -bless her- she said these look iffy and you will be called back.

That was saturday morning - by monday 8am the Doc called to get my blood test done, by Wednesday the results were back and I was referred to gynae-oncology.

All turned out to be endo - as it usually is when you are under menopause age. OC is so rare in younger women, only a tiny fraction of patients end up with a ovarian cancer -the vast majority with these cysts are endometriosis ladies so please do not worry unduly. Yes there is always cause for some concern but statistically speaking the odds are stacked so far in favour of this being endo that I wouldn't place any bets on it being anything but endo.

OC is primarily a disease after the menopause - and those who do get it younger tend to be those with BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes inherited from parents and a family history of early age breast and ovarian cancers in mum, sisters, granny and aunts.

If you don't have a close family track record of these cancers and you are still below 55 yrs of age then the risk is very very low for OC indeed.

Whereas over 10% of all women are living with endo at all ages of their life.

With any suspected possible cancer - you should be on fast track for surgery within 3 weeks of seeing the surgeon on the NHS. Pre-op appointments are about a week or so before the op.

Time to prepare the house for when you get home, shop for birthday prezzies and cards that might be needed for the month after the op when you are not up to trips round shops and post office - get things written, wrapped and stamped ready to go.

Pay bills, have cash in the house for ordering takeaways if you really are not feeling like cooking food, or stock up on quick to heat microwave meals, make sure you have wound care items - plasters dressings, antiseptic wipes, creams, pain killers etc.

stock up on things to keep you occupied - books to read, quizzes to do, crafts, mending clothes, Xmas cards to hand make, sorting and labeling photos or any odd jobs that aren't too demanding physically that you can be getting on with while recovering.

when you get home get plenty of pottering about the house activity exercise - short walks even if from the front door to the back door or up and down stairs - keeps the circulation going and the bowels moving. Keep hydrated take on board more water than usual.

avoid all gassy foods and drinks, no alcohol, caffeine, fizzy pop etc. baked beans, sprouts and anything else that makes you fart.

Your digestive tract gets swollen and it too easy to get constipated and trapping gas inside which hurts a lot more than the wounds do.

They pump the tummy full of CO2 gas (same as in fizzy drinks) - and this takes a few painful days to disperse - so no.1 priority is fart and burp that gas out of the body everytime you need to. Forget being polite and genteel. this is not the time for ladylike manners and holding gas in. Let rip as soon as your feel the urge to. You will feel so much better by getting any remaining trapped gas out of the body as soon as you can in the 48 hours or so after the op. Best of Luck.


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