What is an ovarian biopsy?

An ovarian biopsy is a diagnostic test to determine if you have ovarian cancer. In very rare cases, if your doctor suspects you have ovarian cancer, he or she will remove the abnormal tumor and send the tissue to a lab to confirm the diagnosis. An ovarian biopsy that is performed as a standalone procedure can spread the cancerous cells and lead to more advanced stage cancer.

Who is a candidate for an ovarian biopsy?

If your doctor suspects you have ovarian cancer and you are not a candidate for surgery because of advanced cancer, he or she may order an ovarian biopsy.

What are the risks of an ovarian biopsy?

Bleeding is the most common complication of an ovarian biopsy. Ovarian biopsies are not commonly performed because there is also a risk that the procedure can cause the cancer to spread.

What to expect during an ovarian biopsy?

If your doctor deems an ovarian biopsy an option for your case, he or she may perform the procedure laparoscopically using a needle that is place directly in the tumor. 

After a sample is obtained, it is sent to a laboratory to be evaluated under a microscope by a pathologist. 

Recovery from an ovarian biopsy

If you are having an ovarian biopsy as a standalone procedure, you typically can go home after the procedure. You will need to take it easy for a day or so before resuming your normal activity level. Your doctor will follow up with your test results within a week to 10 days after the procedure.

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