Cystectomy Specialist

Jonathan Tam, MD

OB-GYN located in Pasadena, CA

Ovarian cysts are common, occurring during the childbearing years when an egg fails to descend from the ovary during ovulation. Some cysts grow very large and need to be removed. As a top-rated Ob-Gyn in Pasadena, California, Dr. Jonathan Tam is skilled in cystectomy, a minimally-invasive technique that removes cysts while preserving the healthy tissue.

Cystectomy Q & A

Why do ovarian cysts form?

Most cysts form as a result of ovulation (functional cysts), either when the egg does not descend as it should or when the tiny sac that holds the egg (the follicle) fails to rupture and allow the egg to descend to the uterus. Functional cysts are very common during childbearing years. Other cysts called cystadenomas are filled with fluid and form on the surface of the ovaries. Some women have a condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a condition which causes multiple cysts to form on a regular basis. PCOS can cause problems with fertility.

What is an ovarian cystectomy?

An ovarian cystectomy is a procedure used to remove a cyst from an ovary while endeavoring to preserve the ovary and avoid damaging it. Cysts may cause discomfort as well as interfering with a woman's ability to become pregnant. In addition, some masses may be cancerous, and cystectomies allow the mass to be removed for further evaluation. While cystectomies can be performed in most women, they're not recommended:

  • In post-menopausal women
  • When the mass is suspected of being cancerous
  • When the cyst is extremely large, in which case there may be very little or no ovary tissue remaining
  • If the ovary is twisted and blood flow to the ovary is blocked

In all these cases, removal of the entire ovary (oophorectomy) generally is the preferred approach.

How is an ovarian cystectomy performed?

Ovarian cystectomies are performed using a minimally-invasive technique that relies on small incisions and a special instrument called a laparoscope. Laparoscopes use tiny cameras to “see” inside the body and send real-time video back to a monitor. The doctor uses the monitor to guide the surgery, relying on special instruments designed to be used through small incisions. Cystectomies usually require three incisions – two very tiny ones and one larger incision to extract the cyst. Cysts suspected of containing cancerous cells are sent to a lab for immediate evaluation. Laparoscopic cystectomies are performed on an outpatient basis.

Insurance Information

Sometimes these can be an HMO, please call our office to verify: Medi-Cal and Medicare. For the following, we accept PPO and HMO (medical group needs to be Allied Pacific or Healthcare Partners): Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, HealthNet and United Healthcare.

Blue Cross
Blue Shield
United Healthcare