Surgery for ovarian cancer has two main goals. The first goal is to stage the cancer, which allows doctors to see how far the cancer has spread from the ovary. Usually this means removing the uterus, along with both ovaries and fallopian tubes. In addition, the omentum is also removed. The omentum is a layer of fatty tissue that covers the abdominal contents like an apron, and ovarian cancer sometimes spreads to this tissue. Some lymph nodes in the pelvis and abdomen may also be biopsied in order to see if the cancer has spread from the ovary.
Staging is very important because ovarian cancers at different stages are treated differently. If the staging isn't done correctly, the doctor may not be able to decide on the best treatment.