​Treating ovarian cysts

Knowing what to expect during treatment can help ease your concerns. Many small ovarian cysts are functional cysts, meaning the ovary is ovulating as it normally should, and they are not concerning. If your ovarian cyst is small and you have no symptoms, your doctor may advise a “watch and wait” approach. If you have symptoms you may require treatment. You can trust the world-class Women’s Health experts at The Christ Hospital Health Network to make the right recommendation based on your age, type of cyst and your symptoms. 

The first line of treatment may include:

  • Hormonal birth control—pills, vaginal ring, shot, or a patch may be prescribed to prevent ovulation and keep cysts from reoccurring if you frequently develop cysts

  • Medications—over-the-counter or prescription-strength pain medicine 


Sometimes surgery is the treatment that will provide the best outcome for your condition. Many women are concerned about after effects. Our expert physicians will take time to review your options, which may include a minimally invasive procedure, a specialty at The Christ Hospital Health Network. Done through small incisions, this type of surgery means less pain and scarring and a shorter recovery, so you can get back to work and family sooner.

Surgical options include:

  • Cystectomy—surgery to remove only the cyst

  • Laparoscopy— used to remove smaller cysts via a thin tube with a light and camera, which is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen

  • Laparotomy—a surgical procedure requiring a bigger abdominal incision for larger cysts

  • Oophorectomy—surgery to remove the cyst and ovary, usually done if you are past menopause when risk for ovarian cancer is greater, your cyst doesn't go away, or the ultrasound is suspicious

Laparoscopic surgery is very effective for removing masses, such as ovarian cysts. Benign (non-cancerous) cysts can usually be removed while preserving the ovary. However, complete removal of the ovary may be necessary, if the cyst is large or potentially cancerous. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that 5 to 10 percent of women have surgery to remove an ovarian cyst--only 13 to 21 percent of these cysts are cancerous.

Leading-edge facilities

At The Christ Hospital Health Network, we have an innovative Women’s Surgery Center designed specifically for women. Our Center features spacious operating rooms, the da Vinci surgical system for robotic-assisted gynecologic surgery, and telemedicine technology for real-time, remote consultations with pathologists.

Find a Women’s Health doctor who specializes in the treatment of ovarian cysts.