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Surgical Approaches for Ovarian Cysts: Steps to Prepare and Recover

Surgical Approaches for Ovarian Cysts: Steps to Prepare and Recover

Ovarian cysts affect the majority of women in their reproductive years at some point. While most ovarian cysts don’t require surgery, about 8% of women (prior to menopause) have cysts that need to be treated medically. If your doctor has recommended surgery to remove ovarian cysts (cystectomy), this article offers recommendations for how to best prepare and recover.

Know The Type of Ovarian Cyst You Have

Most ovarian cysts are benign, temporary inconveniences. Small, functional ovarian cysts often go away on their own or through the consistent use of natural therapies. For other cysts, especially large or painful cysts, it may be best to remove them surgically. Be sure to ask questions and do research before deciding whether surgery is the right choice for you.

Ovarian cyst removal (cystectomy) is often a good option for:

  • Large functional cysts or large chocolate cysts (endometriomas): As cysts grow in size, they can threaten the health of the ovary. Very large masses can rupture causing damage, scar tissue and adhesions. Left untreated, some cysts grow so large they completely replace normal ovarian tissue.
  • Cysts affecting ovarian structure: Some cysts cause the ovary to become twisted (ovarian torsion). Ovarian torsion can cut off blood supply, and cause tissue to die. This can be a medical emergency! Symptoms to watch for include: sudden vomiting, fever or pain. If damage to the affected ovary is severe, it may need to be removed.
  • Large, dermoid cysts: Most dermoid cysts grow slowly, but if they grow large, cause pain or menstrual irregularities, removing them could be the best choice, especially if you’re also working on your fertility.
  • Suspected cancer: Surgery can help avoid cyst rupture or cancerous cells spreading to other parts of the body. Post menopause, a large cyst may be removed to reduce any risk for cancer as the reproductive years have come to a close.

How to Prepare and Recover from Cystectomy

If you’re preparing for laparoscopic cystectomy, recovery without complications generally takes about a week. It’s important to ask your physician about any activity restrictions or possible symptoms you can expect after your procedure.

1. Continue Your Fertility Diet

The healing process is accelerated in a nutrient-rich body environment created by following The Fertility Diet. Doing some meal preparation before your procedure is helpful.
Tips:

  • Protein forms the building blocks for cell structure, growth and repair. Include high-quality protein each day, protein from organic eggs, poultry, or vegetarian sources like lentils, and plant or whey protein powders.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables improve healing time by reducing free radical activity and inflammation. Vitamin C rich foods like kiwi fruit, acerola cherries, guava, peppers, broccoli and citrus fruits especially encourage collagen production for faster skin and tissue repair.

2. Use Hot / Cold packs

While you want to avoid stronger techniques like Castor Oil Packs or Self-Fertility Massage for at least a few weeks after surgery, you can ease minor discomfort by doing plain hot or cold packs. Hot packs relax the muscles and ease cramps, while a cold pack helps numb pain.

3. Consider Systemic Enzymes

Once healing is underway (usually after 1-2 weeks), systemic enzymes are an ideal choice. Systemic enzymes encourage tissue repair, decrease inflammation and support normal immune response. Use Systemic Enzymes 45 minutes before meals for the best results. Learn more: How To Use Systemic Enzyme Therapy To Increase Your Fertility.

4. Try Utericalm

This gentle combination with Oat flowers (Avena sativa), Squaw Vine (Mitchella repens), Black Haw (Viburnum prunifolium), and Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus) relaxes the ovarian-uterine area. Utericalm is a great option to support the relief of spasmodic pain, menstrual cramps or general reproductive system pain. See and learn more about UteriCalm here…

5. Learn About These Herbs

Herbs like Pau d’arco (Tabebuia avellanedae), Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa), Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and Ginger (Zingiber officinale) are good additions to your natural medicine chest if you’re prone to cysts or other growths. Use them in teas, herbal soups, liquid herbal extracts or capsule blends.

6. Get Plenty of Sleep

Physical healing is maximized with sleep. After surgery, your body needs more sleep and downtime in order to heal. Research shows sleep deprivation causes wounds to heal more slowly. In contrast, getting plenty of sleep increases wound healing, improves immune response, and decreases chance of infection.

Taking care of your ovaries…
If your doctor recommends surgery to remove ovarian cysts, ask questions and do research on all of your options. Modern medicine has made great strides in surgical approaches, using sensitive equipment and minimizing complications for many women. While many ovarian cysts resolve naturally, some may need to be removed surgically for a return to better reproductive health and reduced symptoms like pain or irregular cycles. If you need surgery, the recommendations in this article can help guide you in the most practical and effective natural recovery options.

References

Sarah Abernathy - Certified Herbalist

Sarah has worked in the field of natural foods and herbalism for over 20 years. She’s the Co-Author of “Healthy Healing” with over 1 million copies sold, a Certified Herbalist, and a health and wellness consultant. Sarah Graduated from the Professional Herbal Studies program at East West School of Herbology, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from St. Mary’s College. Working with women on their journey to wellness is her passion and she loves to share what she has been blessed to learn from naturopaths and other herbalists over the years.

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