What is omentectomy?

An omentectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the omentum. The omentum is a fold of fatty tissue inside the abdomen that surrounds the stomach, large intestine and other abdominal organs. This tissue contains the lymph nodes, lymph vessels, nerves and blood vessels.

There are two types of omentectomy. A supracolic omentectomy, or total omentectomy, removes the entire omentum. A partial omentectomy removes part of the omentum.

An omentectomy is typically performed in combination with other treatments such as a hysterectomy or a salpingo-oophorectomy.

Who is a candidate for omentectomy?

You may be a candidate for an omentectomy if you have ovarian cancer that has spread into the omentum. Your doctor may also recommend an omentectomy to reduce the risk of your cancer spreading from the ovaries to the stomach and other organs.

What are the risks of omentectomy?

Although an omentectomy is a relatively safe procedure, complications can arise. Complications can include:

  • Pain 
  • Lymphedema - buildup of fluid caused by lymph-vessel blockage
  • Nerve damage that could be permanent

What to expect during omentectomy?

An omentectomy can be performed laparoscopically, through several small incisions, or traditionally, through a single large incision in the abdomen. In most cases, it is performed at the same time as a treatment to remove the primary tumor in the ovary.

Recovery from omentectomy

Recovery from an omentectomy will vary depending on what other procedures you have had in addition to the omentectomy. If you have a hysterectomy or salpingo-oophorectomy during the same procedure, it could take as long as eight weeks before you can return to your normal routine.

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