TAH & BSO and omentectomy, and
If your ovarian cancer is at an early stage, you will probably
have a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy
(TAH & BSO). This involves removing the uterus, cervix, Fallopian
tubes and ovaries. The pelvic lymph glands may also be removed. The
fat 'apron' in the abdomen (the omentum) is also removed in a procedure
The operation is carried out under general anaesthetic. A catheter
will drain urine from the bladder for a few days, and you will stay
in hospital for about 1 week.
Your doctor may not know whether your tumour is benign or cancerous
or, if cancerous, how advanced it is, until the pathology report is
available, usually 3-7 days after the operation.
If the cancer is advanced, it is necessary to remove as much
of the tumour as possible during the operation; this is called debulking
surgery, and may involve bowel surgery. This does not cure ovarian cancer,
but can delay or prevent complications such as bowel or kidney obstruction.
It also makes chemotherapy, which is treatment with drugs that attack
the cancer cells, more effective.
If the cancer affects only one ovary, and you have yet to complete
your family, a unilateral oophorectomy may be an option. This involves
removing only the affected ovary. You may be recommended to have the
other ovary removed with a hysterectomy later.