Omentectomy for Gynecologic Cancer Diagnosis

If you are having a hysterectomy or oophorectomy for a gynecologic cancer concern, especially ovarian cancer, your doctor may have told you that you also need an omentectomy. But what is that and why do you need to have it done?

The omentum is the layer of fat that surrounds your abdominal organs, stomach, and large intestine. Besides fatty tissue, this layer also contains blood vessels, nerves, lymph nodes, and lymph vessels. It can also harbor cancer cells that have spread from other organs.

Removal of the omentum is called an omentectomy. It’s sometimes done as a preventive measure when there is a cancer concern in a nearby area. It’s also removed when there’s a good chance cancer has invaded the omentum. At times, a surgeon my choose to do a partial omentectomy or only take a biopsy. It can depend on the extent of your cancer and your particular situation as to what your surgeon will determine is best for you.

If you have surgery without an omentectomy and pathology discovers cancer, your oncologist may recommend a second surgery to remove the omentum. It can be done as a laparotomy or via laparoscopy, depending on your situation. Recovery will depend on how the surgery is done and if you need additional procedures such as lymph node sampling or debulking.

As with any major surgery, you should get a second opinion about what is right for you. With a gynecologic cancer involved, your best option should be a gynecologic oncologist with a solid reputation and high success rate.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.  Reprinted with permission: Omentectomy for Gynecologic Cancer Diagnosis


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