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The standard of care for ovarian cancer is complete removal of the cancer, known as optimal debulking, whenever possible. The extent to which cancer can be removed may affect the choice of therapy. Ovarian cancer surgery is best performed by a gynecologic oncologist, either before or after chemotherapy.
Surgery before chemotherapy is best for patients who are healthy enough to endure an abdominal surgery with a 2-3 day hospital stay, and who have tumors that can be completely removed.
In some cases, surgery is done after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (chemotherapy before surgery). In this case, the ovarian cancer diagnosis must first be confirmed by biopsy.