Further tests carried out at hospital

If you have been referred to a gynaecologist they will arrange for you to have further hospital tests, these may include:

Computerised tomography (CT) scan

A CT scan is an X-ray that produces a three-dimensional picture of the inside of your body.  CT scans can be used to spot tumours in your ovaries and elsewhere.

What will happen?

A CT scan takes up to half an hour and staff will take time to explain what will happen and make you feel comfortable. 

You will be asked to lie on a bed that passes you through the CT scanner.

You may be asked to drink a special fluid called a contrast that helps the CT scanner to take clearer pictures of your body.  You will also be asked to avoid eating food and drinking liquids a few hours before the scan.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan

An MRI scan uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce an image of your internal organs.

What do I need to do?

An MRI scan can take around 30 minutes.  You will receive an appointment letter explaining the procedure and any requirements such as avoiding eating and drinking for a few hours before the scan.

You will need to tell the radiographers if you have a pacemaker, artificial heart valve or any other metal implant, like an artificial hip.

What will happen?

A small device will be placed on your abdomen and you will be moved into the MRI machine.

The MRI scanner can be noisy so if you’re prone to feeling claustrophobic make sure that you tell the staff as some hospitals can offer you headphones or earplugs and a sedative so that you feel comfortable with the procedure.

Laparoscopy (key hole surgery)

A Laparoscopy is a type of surgical procedure where a surgeon can access the inside of the abdomen (tummy) and pelvis without making large incisions in the skin.

A laparoscopy is also known as keyhole surgery or minimally invasive surgery.

What do I need to do?

You should not eat or drink anything for eight hours before the procedure and you may be given medication to empty your bowels.

What will happen?

A laparoscopy is carried out under general anaesthetic, so you will not feel any pain.

A flexible tube with a camera at the end of it is inserted through a small incision in your abdomen.  The camera transmits images of your ovaries to a screen, which the surgeon can then analyse.

After a laparoscopy the incisions are closed using stitches and a dressing applied.

You can often go home on the same day you have laparoscopy, although sometimes you may need to stay overnight.

Laparotomy

A laparotomy is a type of surgical procedure where a surgeon makes a large incision in the abdomen.

What do I need to do?

To prepare for a laparotomy you will be asked not to eat or drink anything for eight hours before surgery and you may be given medication to empty your bowels.

What will happen?

A laparotomy is carried out under general anaesthetic so you will not feel any pain. This procedure allows a surgeon to remove anything growing on the ovary or sometimes the ovary itself. 

Any tissue that is removed is sent to the laboratory to be tested for cancer (this test is called a biopsy).