Ovarian Cysts and surgery


Q: Hello, I have had pain in my lower right abdomen on and off for about a year but when the pain lasted 4 days I went to ER and had an ultrasound which showed approx 7 cm cysts on both ovaries. They have referred me to a gynaecologist but didn't tell me what type of cysts they are. I am 28 and have been on the pill for 4 years so am worried that the cysts might be more serious. I don't know how long I will have to wait to see the gyno so would really appreciate it if you could give me any information. Could you tell me what kind of cyst it is likely to be at this size and is it likely that these cysts will need to be surgically removed? If so, how likely is it that my ovaries will be removed as well?


A:   Ovarian cysts may be benign or malignant. Unfortunately, there is now way to to determine the nature of the cyst without its removal. Given the size of the cysts and the fact that you have had symptoms for some time, your gynecologist will most likely recommend surgical removal. The most common surgical method employed is called laparoscopic surgery. This technique requires a few tiny incisions to be made on the abdomen and the use of a camera to aid the surgeon in performing the procedure. Every effort will be made to spare your ovaries, however, if it seems that these cysts are malignant the ovaries may need to be removed. Your gynecologist will discuss this option with you at length prior to the procedure. There are some tests (including blood tests) which will be performed prior to the procedure which may help determine whether the cysts are malignant or not. These tests are not conclusive and are used as adjunct to surgery.

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