Which surgical procedures are used in the treatment of ovarian cancer?

Updated: Aug 10, 2020
  • Author: Andrew E Green, MD; Chief Editor: Yukio Sonoda, MD  more...
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The type of procedure depends on whether or not disease is visible outside the ovaries. When no disease is visible outside the ovaries, or no lesion greater than 2 cm is present outside of the pelvis, the patient requires formal surgical staging, including peritoneal cytology, multiple peritoneal biopsies, omentectomy, pelvic and para-aortic lymph node sampling, and biopsies of the diaphragmatic peritoneum.

If visible disease is noted, aggressive surgical debulking, with the intent to remove all visible disease should be undertaken. If the surgeon determines that optimal debulking is not possible, then neoadjuvant chemotherapy should be considered. For patients with stage IV disease, surgery should be individualized on the basis of presentation.

Surgical procedures that may be performed in women with ovarian cancer are as follows:

  • Surgical staging
  • Cytoreductive surgery
  • Interval debulking
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Secondary surgery

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