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Ovarian cysts may cause you pain. Fortunately, most women can get relief of their pain from persistent ovarian cysts with same day outpatient surgery. There are different types of ovarian cysts with varying symptoms and treatment options.
Devin Namaky MD, with TriHealth’s Advanced Gynecologic Surgery reviews the types of ovarian cysts, symptoms you may have, treatment options, what happens when cysts rupture, and how you might prevent ovarian cysts.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that grow on the ovary. All women who ovulate grow “cysts” each month on their ovaries. These “cysts” are either follicular cysts or corpus luteal cysts, and usually go away on their own without treatment.
Most ovarian cysts are benign and not cancerous. Ovarian dermoid tumors, endometriosis and cystadenomas may also present as ovarian cysts. These are usually found during a pelvic ultrasound and can sometimes be found on CT or MRI scans. Rarely, ovarian cysts might be ovarian cancer.
Ovarian dermoid cysts are usually not cancerous. Dermoid cysts may contain body parts, such as fat, skin, teeth or even hair. They can grow very large and are removed surgically.
Yes, ovarian cysts can rupture, causing you sudden sharp pain. You may need surgery if they don’t go away on their own. Ovarian cyst rupture can cause you to have internal bleeding, which can be a surgical emergency.
You may have pelvic or ovarian pain. Ovarian rupture and ovarian torsion can both cause pain. Ovarian torsion is an emergency where the ovary and cyst twist on themselves. If ovarian torsion isn’t treated, your ovary can die. Thankfully, most ovarian pain isn’t from cyst rupture or ovarian torsion. Ovarian cysts need to be removed with surgery if you have persistent pain.
What Is Ovarian Cystectomy?
Ovarian cystectomy is surgery to remove ovarian cysts from your ovary, leaving the rest of the healthy ovary behind in your body. Most ovarian cysts that aren’t cancer can be removed this way.
What Is Oophorectomy?
Oophorectomy is removal of your entire ovary and ovarian cyst together. This is rarely necessary for non-cancerous cysts. This may be needed if you have no normal ovary left, or if you have high risk of the ovarian cyst being cancer. Both of these situations are rare.
You may be able to avoid surgery. Persistent non-cancerous ovarian cysts can be followed with ultrasound and watchful waiting if they aren’t causing you pain.
Ovarian cysts can sometimes be cancer. About one in every 70 women develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime. This would usually be in older patients over the age of 50. In order to find out if an ovarian cyst is cancerous, you need to have it removed with surgery. Thankfully, most patients with ovarian cysts don’t have ovarian cancer.
Since ovarian cysts are often caused by your normal menstrual cycle, many experts believe your cysts can be prevented using hormonal medications. Strong evidence is lacking to support hormonal medication for preventing ovarian cysts. However, some may benefit from this treatment, and it would be reasonable to discuss this treatment with your physician.
Most ovarian cysts removed with surgery do not need laparotomy or traditional open surgery. Most patients go home the same day with outpatient surgery and can be back to work within two weeks using minimally-invasive laparoscopy.
Dr. Namaky is trained in surgical techniques to remove large ovarian cysts through small incisions. The size of your cyst doesn’t matter. Even the largest ovarian cysts can be removed minimally-invasively, without laparotomy.
If you have received a recommendation to have open surgery for a non-cancerous ovarian cyst, you may benefit from having a second opinion to see if you can have minimally invasive surgery.
Do you need relief of your cyst pain? Would you like a second opinion to know if you could have an outpatient same-day surgery instead of traditional open surgery? Call 513-862-1888 now for an appointment with Dr. Namaky.