Cyto - Reductive surgery

Hi, I have been on this site several times, although not so much in recent months.... I am 32 and just over 2 years ago I was diagnosed with borderline tumours on my ovaries. Since then I have had 2 laparoscopy's and 1 laparotomy, which has resulted in the removal of one ovary to date. recent tests have shown that a similar tumour has now appeared on the other ovary, and, although it was originally planned for me to have a TAH only, historically there have been small deposits in other areas of the pelvis, an it is now being suggested that I have cyto-reductive surgery. I understand the reasons for this, however I was wondering if anyone on this site has any experience of this procedure, and what to expect. Thank you

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10 Replies

  • Hi Tracy

    I'm sorry to hear your facing another op- they're never easy! I think what you are describing is the same as debaulking surgery- ie where they aim to remove as much disease as possible along with your remaing ovary etc?

    I imagine it'll be another open laparatomy? I had a similar op last year - was in hopital go 4 days and had 8 weeks off work to recover . First couple of weeks were tough trying to move around very slowly and not over do it! But as you've already had a laparotomy I'm sure you'll know this from last time!

    I hope your treatment goes well. Have you discussed HRT or alternatives with your Dr? We are very similar ages(I'm 32) and I know they were keen for me to take something to help protect against osteoporosis and heart disease?


  • Hi, as Tracy said cytoreductive surgery is otherwise known as debulking. I had this surgery as would a lot of the other ladies. The omentum is removed in this procedure for ovarian cancer. My oncologist described my insides as resembling a snow storm. I had tumours at both ovaries but it had spread onto my bowel, peritenum and momentum. The momentum was removed, the bowel and peritoneum were scraped. Chemotherapy mopped up the rest thank goodness. I am stage 3b. Just like getting over your TAH, you will be sore to move for a while but you will get there. Wishing you well with your surgery. Ann

  • Hi, thank you for your reply, I hope you are doing well after your surgery. Did you have your surgery at your local hospital? They are currently still in discussions about my case ( have been for 2 months now) but say if they do it, I will need to go to the Christie at Manchester as it is only done at 2 hospitals one in Manchester and one in Basingstoke. it seems to be a very specialist op...... I wish you well.... I think this website is such a blessing to be able to talk to people who share your thoughts.

  • Hi Tracey. Yes my local hospital is also has the cancer centre in it. It is the place that all ovarian cancers are treated at in NI. One young mum I have got to know this WK though was sent across to the Christy for her treatment and surgery. Try not to worry too much. Trust your specialists judgement. But if they offer it I would take it. I had my gallbladder out about 30 years ago and have managed without it all these years. Good luck. Ann xo

  • Thank you for your replies. The surgery they are referring to is also known as the Sugarbaker procedure, which is only carried out at the Christie in Manchester and a hospital in Basingstoke. From what I have read it seems to involve removing all visible tumour growth, plus all non essential organs (spleen, gall bladder and appendix) as well as doing the ovary removal, hysterectomy, omentum and various other bits as required. This seems like a HUGE operation to have! a bit daunting. I was told that I will need to go on HRT although only progesterone as without the various female reproductive organs I will not need to take oestrogen. I had in the past been told I could not take HRT as I have a history of blood clots on my lungs which were caused from taking the pill in my late teens. however, my consultant explained that whilst at such an early age I didn't really have much choice due to the risks you mention, heart disease etc, I would actually be at far less risk, because it is only replacing what has gone at the bare minimum required. Just one more thing to deal with In the circumstances I guess! Pimkin81, are you currently taking HRT, if so how have you got on with it? did you experience any issues with it at all?

  • That's a pretty daunting operation, I don't blame you for being apprehensive. I've seen it discussed on here before but I'm not sure if anyone has had it? Might be worth contacting the ovacome team to see if they know more about it as it sounds more specialised?

    I am taking a synthetic HRT substitute. It mimics oestrogen and progesterone so essentially works in the same way! My only side effect has been weight gain, but I think I would rather that than the alternatives. No menopause symptoms at all which I am very relieved about.


  • Hi Tracy,I'm not sure where you and your family are based and how easy it would be for them to visit.I live only a couple of miles away from Christie's,if you need a visit or anything bringing in when you're there please just drop me a line m x

  • Aww, thanks so much. That is the reason this site is invaluable to all of us. We are actually a good 2 hours drive from Manchester so it wont be the easiest, particularly when I have read visiting is only half an hour 3 times a day, although I imagine may parents and husband will stay locally at least for the first week (obviously in patients best interest though) my husband will have to work although they have said he can take some compassionate leave initially and although my parents will be there, there is also my 10 year old son who will need to be looked after by either hubby or parents. so it will certainly be a juggling act. Hopefully it will be in the school holidays as my son wont like being away from me and it really wouldn't be great for him to be so faraway worrying and still having to concentrate on school. ( although he knows he wont be able to see me in the early days) Its so difficult isn't it. Although I do feel that my local hospital has my best interests at heart in referring me to Manchester, and having undergone 3 operations now, I feel fortunate that they have considered me for this procedure. I am still waiting to hear from them, but hoping to next week. Last I heard my local hospital said that the specialist at Manchester had said they did feel it would be in my best interests to undergo the cyto-reductive surgery/sugarbaker procedure, and that the consultant would be in touch with me once the team have reviewed it at their meeting. so hopefully will hear something this week coming. I've been waiting in limbo since April whilst they have been deciding.

  • Hi Tracy

    I had surgery in Oct 2012 - the full works and am now on another session of chemo with possible further surgery to remove some regrowth with the aim of reducing the cancer load to enable the chemo and me to get the upper hand, further surgery is becoming more common but we are all individuals and the best treatment should be tailored. So you are on the right track and I wish you all the best for the next sesh, big hugs Amanda

  • Hi there

    Sorry to hear that you are facing another operation. I think that in this case more is more ...are your / latest tumours invasive or still borderline ?

    Regarding HRT, I was told.on several.occasional that at the tender age of 48 LOL I definitely needed HRT. It is only replacing what should be in your body anyway. I had such terrible symptoms in hospital that I cannot , imagine life without it. I have had, oestrogen levels done and they are lower than a woman at my age with ovaries would have ...and that's on 1mg oral tablets.


    Love and hugs xxxhope that it all goes well.

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